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Re: Some thoughts on the yum tutorial

Stuart Ellis wrote:

>> 3. I would have started by discussing the entries in /etc/yum.repos.d/ ,
>> perhaps with model entries for the 3 standard repositories.
>> That would enable people to get started as quickly as possible.
> Yum in FC4 has been set up so it now isn't necessary to directly work
> with the contents of the configuration files at all for normal usage.
> It works out of the box, using the Fedora repositories, and you can add
> and remove third-party repositories by copying .repo files (or having an
> application do it).

I always replace the repositories given in the default entries
by local repositories (I mean in Ireland, in my case).
I don't know if that is standard practice.

>> 8. A few words on what to do about yum errors
>> would be very useful, perhaps as a FAQ.
> Hmm. Could you give an example of a specific yum error ?  I would think
> that the most common problems are likely to be general network errors.

I don't think so.
I think it is clear from postings to the general Fedora mailing list
that by far the most common problem is dependencies that cannot be resolved.

These generally seem to be due to an injudicious choice of repositories.

You are the yum experts, but my advice in such a case would be
that if "yum update" is failing and there is just one problematic package
one should add "exclude=..." to yum.conf, at least temporarily.

The other problem that comes up pretty often is to do with GPG keys.

>> 10. I think yum GPG keys cause more confusion than you realise.
>> I would have mentioned the possibility of turning off key-checking
>> in case one cannot find the key -
>> of course as a second-best solution.
> Further to what Paul has said, this issue came up on the yum mailing
> list last week.  The yum developers take a strong line on unsigned
> pacakges, and won't add features to make it easy for users to install
> them.

That's fine.
But if they feel strongly about it
they should add something to the yum error messages
to suggest where users might find missing keys.

Incidentally, since the keys seem to be put in /etc and/or /usr/share/doc
I don't know why installing yum doesn't install these keys at least.

I was slightly perturbed by your belief
that most yum difficulties arise from network problems
since this certainly is not the case from my reading of postings on yum.

I think every tutorial should have a FAQ section;
and it is important that the FAQs should be questions
that actually arise.
All too often FAQs are used, in my view,
for authors to add material they want to add
rather than answering questions people are really likely to ask.

Timothy Murphy  
e-mail (<80k only): tim /at/ birdsnest.maths.tcd.ie
tel: +353-86-2336090, +353-1-2842366
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland

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