[Yum] Re: pkgpolicy

Michael Stenner mstenner at ece.arizona.edu
Mon Sep 6 23:10:07 UTC 2004

On Mon, Sep 06, 2004 at 01:32:54PM -0700, Rick Graves wrote:
> Would it be feasible to implement an option "after n
> days", where n is an integer that your can specify in
> the yum.conf file?  I suggested this some weeks back. 
> The idea is to apply an update only after it has been
> up there for some days (ten would be an example)
> without any superceding update.  
> On one hand, YUM is great because it can automate
> updating systems, but on the other hand, some
> administrators maintain that production servers should
> never be updated automatically -- the risk of a glitch
> bringing a server down is too big.  Waiting some days
> could bring the risk to an acceptable level for
> servers running on common hardware without any
> customized packages (i.e., for most servers).  

Personally, I think this is the wrong way to manage the problem you
describe.  I think it's a legitimate problem.  You don't always trust
the folks who are maintaining repos to keep them as reliable as a
given box requires.  However, this approach is

  1) very confusing - you no longer have boxes stated determined by
     the state of the repos, but some function of what's in the repos
     and also of time.

  2) what about installs?  do they also wait n days?  if not, you'll
     quickly have multiple boxes with different configurations even
     though they're using the same repos.  If they do, then the older,
     more trustworthy package isn't available any more!

Now, I think the PROPER way to solve this problem is to maintain your
own mirror, which you sync appropriately.  To do properly, this would
require package-aware mirroring, and MAY STILL cause problems (think
of changing dependencies, etc) but at least there's a simple
relationship between box state and repo, and all machines installed to
a given repo will be the same.
> Since I am basically a database person, I tend to see
> a database solution to every problem.  (Sort of like
> if the only tool you know how to use is a hammer, then
> you use a hammer to fix everything.) 

I'm a big fan of this phrase.  The version I know and love is:

  When all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.

  Michael D. Stenner                            mstenner at ece.arizona.edu
  ECE Department, the University of Arizona                 520-626-1619
  1230 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721-0104                 ECE 524G

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