Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fedora Software Repositories

One of the brilliant features of Fedora is that it only comes on one CD disc. Not every operating system can brag about that. Indeed, many Linux distributions are delivered to users through multiple disks.

Formerly, the strategy in delivering a Linux distribution to your home or office was not very complex: all of the applications a user needed or would ever need in the future would be delivered on one complete set of CDs (or, later, one or two DVDs). The advantage here was that once you downloaded and burned all of those CDs, you would be all set to run that distribution without having to download additional software later. But the average CD image download, discussed. That’s a lot of data, even for today’s broadband connections. Having to do this for three, five, or even seven CDs is a very time-consuming undertaking for most users, unless they are willing to pay to have those same CDs delivered by mail.

Fedora flips the model around a bit. Working with the knowledge that a majority of Internet users now have broadband access, the Fedora Project has decided to send out just the absolutely necessary Fedora applications on one CD and leave the rest online on servers scattered around the world for users to download as needed.

This may seem inefficient, since you must have Internet access of some kind to make this work. But consider that most operating systems update themselves via Internet anyway, so in order to keep Fedora up to date, online access was needed anyway. And only downloading and burning one CD is a lot faster than downloading and burning CDs plural. Delivering a ‘‘core’’ distribution also gives users much greater flexibility in picking and choosing what software applications they want on their system. It also means their hard drives won’t be loaded with stuff they don’t need.

To give you an idea of just how much more software is available, consider these numbers: a standard installation of Fedora has around 1,100 packages. Currently, there are over 12,000 total application packages available.

Fedora, like its sibling Red Hat Enterprise Linux, organizes its software in repositories. There are three primary repositories for Fedora, each holding a specific class of software. Let’s walk through them now.

The three official Fedora repositories are pretty clearly named, but let’s examine them anyway.
» Fedora. This repository holds all of Fedora’s officially supported software. Everything that Fedora must have to actually run is in here, and all of the software is under a free software license. Additional applications in this repository include AbiWord, Evolution, Firefox, Gaim, OpenOffice.org, and Thunderbird.

» Updates. This repository contains any software that has been updated because of a bug or security fix.

» Source. All of the source code packages for Fedora software are found in this repository.

Adding Repositories
These are not the only repositories that Fedora can use. There aremany communityrun repositories on the Internet for Fedora, each holding specialized software that the Fedora Project does not want to host.

There are many software applications out there that can run on Linux, but because their licenses are completely proprietary, some Linux distributions won’t touch them with a 10-foot pole. By virtue of its Linux origins, Fedora’s makers feel obligated to abide by this philosophy, keeping totally commercial packages away from Fedora.

But there is an important distinction here. While the Fedora Project does not release commercial software with Fedora, that does not preclude letting users have access to a commercial repository after they have downloaded and installed

Fedora. A fine distinction, to be sure, but it gives users the advantage of making their own choices about what software they want to use. All of the package managers in Fedora work off a master list of repositories stored on your PC. From this file, known as sources.list, the package managers know which repositories to check for new software and if there are any updates available for software installed on your system. If you want these managers to peruse another repository, you will need to modify sources.list with the new information.

Fedora users in the know are aware of three such third-party repositories that will get you access to the latest in cutting-edge software for Fedora. These are the Dribble, Freshrpms, and rpm.livna.org repositories. Fortunately, you won’t have to add these repositories one at a time. Instead, you can use one command to add RPM Fusion to your sources.list, which will accomplish the same thing.

This operation will be done using a command-line application. Command-line applications are always run in a Terminal window, one of the plainest and most versatile tools found in Fedora. To start Terminal, click on the Applications | System Tools | Terminal menu command

Source of Information : Cengage-Introducing Fedora 2010

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