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sounding off: Linux - CTO has to be enormous

It was a long time ago since I've tried to install anything on Linux last time. I'm no Linux expert - just a user.

But now I have to install a bulletin board software (http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=146737&ixReplies=10) written using PHP on our corporate Linux server.

I'd personally prefer ASP or .NET on Win32, but, unfortunately, its not included into our management's budget.

It took me just  few minutes to understand that we don't have the PHP module installed for our Apache webserver.

Couple minutes more and I find a PHP runtime and interpreter download at www.php.net, but (surprise, surprise) it comes in a form of yet-to-be-compiled C source.

No problem, I can handle it: I download the source and place it on the Linux box. Then following instructions on some web site I create an installation script, which should compile and install everything for me (I just roughly understand what PHP features I need for the bulletin board to be run, nevermind, I just want it to work, for the Linux sake!).

And, of course, installation script fails - although my environment is set correctly. Fiddling a bit more around with it and we're finally getting somewhere, it says:  "neither gcc nor cc found on your box, I'm sorry".

Damn! I'm glad I left a mySQL installation for a desert - it could have been just too much for one's mind.

Two and half hours since I've started I'm browsing internet like hell, trying to find gcc and here it is! In a source code form! Wonderful, couldn't be better! But, wait, lets try search for rpm...

Twenty minutes passed, I've finally got the RedHat 7.1 (Seawolf) gcc rpm, now I only have to install it... but, wait, what the heck those failed dependencies are?! Is it some kind of a really weird joke?!

Four hours have passed and I'm not even an inch closer to the initial goal - simple bulletin board up and running, still I feel myself perfectly ready for a visit to mental institution.

Just sounding off.

Vlad Gudim
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Sorry, TCO.

Vlad Gudim
Thursday, June 03, 2004

So what you're saying is, you have no Linux sysadmin experience and therefore you're having a really hard time setting up something simple on Linux.

As opposed to somebody with zero Windows admin experience who would have just NO PROBLEM configuring an IIS server and setting it up for .NET/ASP applications?

please.

Your argument basically boils down to "The TCO for a system must take into account your staff's experience".

well, duh.

muppet from electric-chipmunk
Thursday, June 03, 2004

I totally agree with Vlad Gudim.

Installing most software on Windows is usually a sequence of next button clicks.

Installing on Linux is a nightmare. Especially if you are compiling from the source code. There are better things to do in life than to spend severals hours just to figure out how to install a single piece of software - and especially compile it from the source code.

Green Pajamas
Thursday, June 03, 2004

And yet we find predictions of Linux taking over the Windows desktop market.

Green Pajamas
Thursday, June 03, 2004

If you think that's tough, you should  try installing PHP on Solaris, with a Netscape web server (from the good old dot-com days), to work with an Informix DB.

Not only it didn't build, but, since nobody else on the planet was using that setup, there was no help available. I eventually gave up (this was in 2000).

As for the failed dependencies, that's weird. Mandrake's RPM mgr takes care of that. When I select something on the list, it automatically selects any necessary uninstalled packages.

I'm no expert, either. That's why I got a friend of mine to supervise my Mandrake's installation. One of these days I'll try to install KDE 3.2 on that thing, while maintaining KDE 3.1, just to see if I can pull it off :)

Paulo Caetano
Thursday, June 03, 2004

You're right GP, it's much easier to set up a security nightmare by clicking Next, Next than to compile code specifically on the box on which it will run, with even the opportunity, if you desire, to inspect the code yourself for problems.  :)

The problem comes from the fact that Windows is standardized, and Linux is not.  By the very nature of Linux, it will NEVER be standardized, so if you want the same ease of installation, you'll have to rely on RPMs provided by the distro vendor or by other sysadmins.

I've never had a problem finding/using RPMs, but I don't prefer them.  If you want to use software that doesn't PROVIDE rpm's, then well, you're out of luck, aren't you?

muppet from electric-chipmunk
Thursday, June 03, 2004

"Installing most software on Windows is usually a sequence of next button clicks.

Installing on Linux is a nightmare. Especially if you are compiling from the source code."

This is something I find hard to understand.

I bump into software XPTO on the net, and I decide I'd like to try it. As it happens, XPTO is open source, so all I have to is download and install the thing.

So, I dig around the web site, and find several options. Most of the time there'll be somthing like this - "Windows users have a binary/setup app. Just copy it to your disk/run it". What about other OSs - "OK, here's the source, build it".

The funny thing is these guys make easier installs for Windows than for Linux.

Don't tell me it's because of the OS - if you can make "build install" and have it automatically installed (assuming nothing fails), then it shouldn't be hard to create a binary for the most popular Linux distros (at least) and run an installation script (i.e., without the "build" part).

Paulo Caetano
Thursday, June 03, 2004

You're running a Mandrake Linux distro and you didn't install gcc?

Well, that sounds like the box was set up specifically as an internet facing server, in which case you're violating the entire purpose of NOT putting gcc and all othe unnecessary utilities on the box (security).

So, you either have to compile the sources you require on a non-internet facing box and transfer the binaries, or just install the gcc rpm from the disk.

It merely comes down to what you're used to using, and apparently this seems rather new to you.  You've likely spent years "learning" windows admin policies, yet you don't consider that part of the TCO.  Yet you expect to just sit down and config a Linux server in a day without any prior experience and now that gets counted as TCO.  Interesting accounting rules you've got working there.

hoser
Thursday, June 03, 2004

muppet from electric-chipmunk,

brilliant thought!

But nowadays you can't expect everyone to know everything. Services of a specifically experienced and trained person for one-off operations like "once a lifetime PHP support installation to run a bulletin board" (please note, I don't care about PHP, PHP development, and even less I care about cc, gcc and dependencies - I only want the bloody board to function) are rather expensive.

Anyway just sounding off and downloading binutils rpm - a person who installed the whole original Red Hat got made redundant last month - I have no CDs...

Vlad Gudim
Thursday, June 03, 2004

All you have demonstrated is that you don't know how to manage a server running Linux.  Why wasn't gcc installed on your machine?

I have installed php / phpbb / mysql on several servers.  While not an instantaneous operation, and I had to make sure various security options were set properly, it was not difficult.

If you want to run any sort of server, and to have responsibility for its management, then LEARN HOW TO DO YOUR JOB. 

Don't come whining to us saying "this is all too hard - it expects me to know what I am doing!".

Ken Ray
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Try an apt-based distro. Your little adventure would be reduced to one command.

Eric Debois
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Nope, its not an internet facing box. Its strictly for the intranet.

I'd be happy if we had any hackerz around here to help me with a problem. But the truth is no one needs to hack it anyway.

But we getting there: cpp and  glibc-devel left, so that I could try to compile php, so I could install it, so I could try configure it, so I could install mySQL, so I could start getting closer where I really want.

Don't jump to conclusions I don't blame anything or anyone.

Vlad Gudim
Thursday, June 03, 2004

As one who helps support the installation of our Windows based product on our customers' sites, I can assure you an inexperienced Windows sysadmin has every bit as much trouble as the OP had. I could go on for hours about problems installing COM objects, SQLServer, networks, printers, etc, etc. It's not really a Windows or Linux problem, it's a lack of expertise problem, we call them "Accidental Admins".

Anony Coward
Thursday, June 03, 2004

You've got a loooong way to go buckaroo.  Unless you've admin'd mySQL before, you've got some learning to do.  Good luck.

hoser
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Ken Ray,

its all obvious and simple for people like you, isn't it? All you do - jump to the conclusions and give an advice no one really asked for.

You come to topic saying "sounding off" and tell me not to whine, sure that's clever.

Sorry, not in a mood today.

Vlad Gudim
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Just for clarity, I didn't mean to come off as hostile.  I only meant to say that of course whatever you're more experienced in will be easier, and have a lower TCO.

If your point was that Linux isn't really more "free" than Windows is (free as in beer), then I heartily agree with you.

muppet from electric-chipmunk
Thursday, June 03, 2004

And why is it that you didn't use the package management system for whatever distro you are using?

Anonymous
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Anonymous,

sorry, aren't "rpm -ivh"  and "rpm -qa" called "making use of package management system"? Am I missing something? I'm not with you...

Vlad Gudim
Thursday, June 03, 2004

So you're saying you have no talent, and little ability to learn?


Thursday, June 03, 2004

Oh good, the Linux Zealots are here.  And they believe in their cause so strongly that they won't even sign their posts.

Cowardly thing to say and not sign.  Assinine, too.

muppet from electric-chipmunk
Thursday, June 03, 2004

"As opposed to somebody with zero Windows admin experience who would have just NO PROBLEM configuring an IIS server and setting it up for .NET/ASP applications?"

I'm not a Windows Admin and I installed IIS Server on my Win XP pro computer and ativated .asp (for testing .asp pages locally before uploading them to a live computer).

I'm no Microsoft lover, but that particular task went very smoothly.

Mr. Analogy
Thursday, June 03, 2004

By comparison, I recently set up pws, PHP and MySql on my home PC.

Zero problems encountered.

Mr Jack
Thursday, June 03, 2004

how secure do you figure your local webserver with ASP support would be if you put it out on the wild internet?

muppet from electric-chipmunk
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Oh, but wait!

Did you do that without having the install disks from Microsoft?  Of course not.  What OP is trying to do is install software without having the install disks around.

Why the original Linux installation disks are lost?  Who knows, but try that with Windows (or with a lost install key).

Why the original installation did not install gcc and development libraries?  Who knows, but again - this is not a reasonable comaprison.

I've lost my installation disks and I'm installing.  Try that with Windows.

hoser
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Hoser,

I can install PHP and mySQL as binaries on my standard Windows installation without needing a CD.

It would have taken no more than 2 hours including downloads.

Note - I'm still trying to get gcc installed, not PHP or mySQL. Why? What it has to do with the board itself? Nothing.

Just because I couldn't find PHP rpm.

Vlad Gudim
Thursday, June 03, 2004

gcc is comparable to the MS Installer, which is installed by default on all Win32 systems newer than NT 4.0.

If you didn't have windows installer installed and you were trying to install from an .msi file (ie, pretty much everything from microsoft these days) then you'd be SOL, too.

Isn't there a PHP rpm for your system?  I'd find it really hard to believe that there wasn't, even if it's not from Zend.

muppet from electric-chipmunk
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Use RPM and yum (or apt) and there is no need for compiling from source in most cases. Especially for PHP...

When I want to install a package I do:
yum install <packagename>

if the package isn't there use rpmfind.net. I rarely need to compile from source on a redhat system.

marcus
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Gimme a link to PHP rpm for RedHat 7.1 (seawolf) and I'll be very grateful.

The trick is my wide Windows installation expirience never been so harsh as my little Linux one.

Vlad Gudim
Thursday, June 03, 2004

I went through something similar with Linux. I'd run a linux firewall for two years (after much bleeding about the eyes learning iptables); I wanted to add a wireless NIC and put it on my USB KVM.
The PCI wireless NIC I had was actually a PC Card adapter with a PC Card 802.11 card. Apparently nobody had gotten this to work in Linux. I found a handful of posts from people asking help in making it work, with no replies. I emailed two of the folks who had been looking for help - neither one got it working.
Getting a USB mouse working required recompiling the kernel, which of course failed the first time I tried.

Now mind you, I have taught myself *everything* I know, including Oracle, Windows networking, SQL Server, and software development. I remember the frustration I felt in Access when I looked at the database container and thought "now what?" I remember beating my head on the desk when Oracle refused to talk to anything else on the network.

Most of all, I remember the help I got from the various user communities every time. (CompuServe for Oracle, Access, and windows networking; usenet for development; the web for SQL Server)

What really, really frustrated me about linux was the community, as evidenced on this board - minimal help, maximum arrogance. Note that many of the "pro-linux" replies on here are simply berating the OP for not understanding linux before trying to work with it (which is of course a catch-22). That was my experience as well. (I ended up going out and paying $80 for a linksys router)

This is meant as constructive criticism - if the linux community wants to see broader acceptance of linux, they are going to have to swallow their pride, divorce the /. attitude, and start actively *helping* people who are trying to work with the platform. Taking a request for help and turning it into a MS-bashing session doesn't help anyone.

Another thought - if someone is a Windows sysadmin and wants help with linux, don't beat them up; help them, and try to be relevant about it. If you know both platforms, then try to explain the linux setup in Windows terms, where they're not parallel (especially in the file system).

My $.02

Philo

Philo
Thursday, June 03, 2004

"Gimme a link to PHP rpm for RedHat 7.1 (seawolf) and I'll be very grateful. "

You mean like:
http://updates.redhat.com/7.1/en/os/i386/php-4.1.2-7.1.6.i386.rpm

Your shop shouldn't be running this crap if there is no-one there that has a clue in these matters (yes, you are all smart, but can you afford the time to learn all this stuff?).

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, June 03, 2004

I am total linux newbie, and I installed, Apache, mod_PHP, and mySql in about 2 hours on a windows machine. I got a one page site working that reads from the database. Yeah!

That way three days ago. It isn't rocket science. I didn't have to download ANY source, the win32 binaries work just fine. And documentation a la google was easy to find.

IOW, keep working at it.  Forget the source...

--
ee

eclectic_echidna
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Philo,

I can agree that often (usually) the linux community is xenophobic and hostile to people coming from a windows environment, but perhaps in this case it has something to do with how the question was phrased (and often is phrased).

ie:  "Why can't I do this on Linux?  Why does Linux suck so badly?  I can do this in two seconds on Windows."

When often the explanation is that it's harder for you on Linux because Linux is not what you're used to.  That sort of cavalier and arrogant attitude (of windows-raised folks toward linux) is of course going to reap responses in the same vein.

muppet from electric-chipmunk
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Just me (Sir to you),

thanks for the link, I managed to find it after my recent post.

As I've mentioned the guy who was "dedicated linuxist" got made redundant last month, another one who has some solid knowledge and would normally administrate the box is out of the office for next few weeks.

And me? I'm trying to learn stuff on the go now. I don't complain, just as I said, the installation could be much easier on Linux, just like on Windows.

I'll be alright, I always get along well with computers - but why not to have a friendly chat while installing? It kept my working day short. :) 

Vlad Gudim
Thursday, June 03, 2004

muppet - agreed, but I'm sure you've been frustrated with things in the past as well.

The most frustrating thing in the world is when you're doing something that seems very straightforward, but you can't find a FAQ or howto anywhere on the web (this isn't a linux thing - it happens with every software and platform)

Anyway, look at the crap I take on this board every day - it gets to me sometimes, but I try to ignore the abuse, address the factual inaccuracies, and offer help where appropriate. Even if the request is "man [x] sucks - how the heck do I do [y]?!?"

Philo

Philo
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Probably, it appropriate to start a new topic, but since we're here and already started...

It seems to me that there are a straight correlation between posters level of anonymity and "indecent behaviour".

Take regular posters, even those who still don't disclose their real names - are still trying to be polite, supportive and watch what they are saying, just like in real life.

Configuring Apache now already...

Vlad Gudim
Thursday, June 03, 2004

http://www.rpmfind.net/
is your friend

http://tinyurl.com/2aow7  rpmfind link to your precious php

It's called google - use it.

Modern Linux using an RPM or Apt system is usally as easy as Windows to install on. - if all goes well, if not Windows is usaully  easier.    What I've found though is that while a Linux install may take longer, once it works, it works, stays working and takes less maintenance than that easy next, next, next quickie install on Windows.

Basically your a dumbass who comes here trolling how tough Linux installs are cause you don't know how to do them.  Well, I'm off to usenet to alt.science.rocket to tell them dummies how hard their science is.

Hank
Thursday, June 03, 2004

You see, exactly what I meant - you get all sorts and kinds of arrogant "Hanks" who just can't hold themselves from giving people "dumbass" clichés. 

Installing MySQL... it all will be over soon.

Vlad Gudim
Thursday, June 03, 2004

We have been unable to either send or receive email from outside or both for about half of the last month.

Our sysadmin decided he needed help so he called in the Royal Commission (the quasi-governmental body responsible for most of this town of 200,000 people) the ISP and Microsoft support. None of them have so far managed to get the email working for as long as 24 hours (MS support set up a second Exchange 2000 box with the same name as the oriiginal. which was still online and then wondered why the network couldn't see it!).

He told me they were changing ISP because their present one, which previously had the best reputation in Saudi, had been having problems all the time, as had many others. I asked him why my ISP, which I have used since the Internet started here in Feb 1999, had not ever lost any mail. He said "Ah, but they use Linux boxes".

And the top university in the country has been bouncing emails for over a month, so I'm told (and they don't use Linux boxes either!).

Stephen Jones
Thursday, June 03, 2004


Acutally, I'm quite active on the phpBB boards and if you had posted there, you would have received numerous offers of help and/or advice.

In fact, you probably would not have needed to even post as (looking at the board right now), there are a half dozen different variations of your problem.


Like *ANY* product, if you're looking for support, you have to find the support.

KC
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Hmmm I know the feeling. I installed blogging software which need PHP & MySQL on my home windows PC to try it out first before screwing around online with my ISP. The Apache install & the PHP install were both a breeze, however the MySQL install documentation was a complete mess anything that has the sentences:

"The ability of the kernel and/or the thread library to run many threads which acquire and release a mutex over a short critical region frequently without excessive context switches. In other words, if the implementation of pthread_mutex_lock() is too anxious to yield CPU time, this will hurt MySQL tremendously. If this issue is not taken care of, adding extra CPUs will actually make MySQL slower. "

In a section entitled Operating systems supported by MySql needs serious work, it then proceeds to go downhill from there (Why does section 2.2.1.5 talk about InnoDB?).

It's the same problem ESR blogged about with CUPS all over again.

The whole thing makes me think they're just not serious about selling outside their existing customer base.

Yeah writing nice windows installers is tricky, we've done it and to install our system on a working MS-SQL server takes three clicks and the sa password if you're happy with the defaults and IIRC the same basically applies to installing the SQL server.

If I hadn't needed MySQL because it's what my ISP supplies I wouldn't have bothered past trying to read the install instructions.

Peter Ibbotson
Thursday, June 03, 2004

MySQL has a nice Windows installer...  why the trouble?

Almost Anonymous
Thursday, June 03, 2004

"MySQL has a nice Windows installer...  why the trouble?"

Might be something do do with the fact that he's installing on Linux.

Tom H
Thursday, June 03, 2004

I am hardly a Linux zealot.  I don't even like Linux.  That said, any popular software package for any well-known distro is going to be available as a binary package from the distro provider.

It's great that tasks are easy to accomplish in Windows.  Our customers all require Windows because it is easy to use.  So easy that idiots are hired to manage their servers.  Idiots who are unable to manage their servers.  Good thing they purchase support contracts from us so that we can do their Windows administration work for them.  And good luck fixing things when complicated problems occur that aren't handled by the GUI.  If you are lucky the MS KB will contain an article explaining that the problem is by design.

Anonymous
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Read the documentation. In particular try reading section 2.2 in a "I just want to get started" mood. Then imagine you miss the somewhat critical link to section 2.4 (just before 2.2.1.6) which is where they talk about users and how to setup them up.
The documentation seriously needs a "quick start" for windows users. The other information is great but when I'm starting out I want to be able to:
a) Install it
b) Setup the admin user
c) Setup a non-admin user
d) create a table / select some stuff
e) mess about a bit
f) delete all the crap and start again now I know what I'm doing.
It only needs a one page document writing.
Compare the MySQL stuff with the Apache docs http://httpd.apache.org/docs-2.0/platform/windows.html
Everything you need to know to get started on one page (and IIRC the PHP docs were pretty good too).

Peter Ibbotson
Thursday, June 03, 2004

What does the Chief Technical Officer's weight problem have to do with Linux?

Sarcastic Bastard
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Well, well, well, thank you everyone!

While we were having here a friendly banter I managed to get everything up and running. :-)

It took just 8 hours, but was worth it as I learned a lot about Linux and did everything myself except for your useful clues, help and friendly support.

Thank you, folks, again!

Vlad Gudim
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Now you know it's easy, but getting the knowledge is no easy task.

Craig
Thursday, June 03, 2004

It seems to me that there are blowhards on both sides of the issue here.  I'm definitely hearing the voices of people who are trying to do system administration who aren't qualified to do system administration.  Linux isn't hard.  Windows isn't any harder. Neither is OpenBSD or FreeBSD.

Effective system administration, especially effective system administration, requires a certain stuborness in working things out and figuring how things are related.  It's no more reasonable to expect to hop on a computer and expertly manage it than it is to expect someone, looking under the hood of their car for the first time, to swap out the ignition module in an hour.  Swapping an ignition module isn't especially difficult for somebody who knows where to find it and has the tools.  Likewise, installing PHP isn't a problem if you know how your operating system distributes packages.

Vlad, your server is in quite a bit of trouble.  It's a really good idea to keep servers up to date, and your server is a couple of years out of date.  New bugs are found and fixed constantly. It would be a good idea for your company to contract with a local shop that does Linux support and have them get things up to snuff on that server, including some staff training/handholding.  You may have to hunt for a shop that does Linux support; they're actually fairly common, but they don't tend to advertise themselves very loudly.

Clay Dowling
Thursday, June 03, 2004

apt-get install php

christopher baus (www.baus.net)
Thursday, June 03, 2004

I disagree installing something on a modern linux distro is not hard. Just download the source and follow the steps in the readme. And thats it. Afterwhich I always do a updatedb and then locate <installed app> just to see where its installed.

Now configuring something like Apache and PHP would need more effort and basically you need to read the manuell.

Somorone
Thursday, June 03, 2004

"Swapping an ignition module isn't especially difficult for somebody who knows where to find it and has the tools."

I replaced the brake pads on my Firebird at a local hobby garage once. I was a complete noob, and probably annoyed the hell out of the more experienced mechanics that helped me get through it. But you know what? They helped me. They didn't hold my hand, and I struggled with some stuff (including blowing the seal on the brake caliper), but they answered my questions patiently and competently. So even though the afternoon was longer and more expensive than it should've been, it was fun.

I cannot imagine going through that if they'd had the attitude Clay and others express here - that I was an idiot and had no business trying to change the brake shoes on my car, and if I think it would be easier if it was a VW then maybe I should buy a VW and get the hell out of their shop.

We all have to learn sometime, and we're all generally egocentric jerks with genius IQ's, which means we get really pissed off when we can't figure it out on our own and we blame the tools. So why not recognize that and realize we're all in this together, so let's try to help each other instead of being holier-than-thou prats about it?

Philo

Philo
Thursday, June 03, 2004

What newbie downloads the source to do an install?  He should be using a package manager.

That's equavalent to installing something on Windows without an Installer...  yeah, we'll just copy this DLL into C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32...  oops, it's older than the one already there...  cancel...  now I'll manually register a few COM components...  REGSVR32...

There is a big difference between how things are done on Windows and Linux.  Both have there advantages and disadvantages.  Windows users who come to Linux have no idea how to do anything (yes, I was one of those people like 4 years ago).  In many cases, they make it out to be harder than it really is.  They have the wrong distribution for their purposes, don't know how to use the tools, and they _expect it_ to be difficult.

I think the orginal posters problem is not that they couldn't compile from the source -- it's the fact he thought he had to compile from source!

Almost Anonymous
Thursday, June 03, 2004

"So why not recognize that and realize we're all in this together, so let's try to help each other instead of being holier-than-thou prats about it?"

*rolls eyes*

The orginal poster didn't even ask for help!  He just ranted.  Now there is nothing wrong with that, rant on.  I see alot of point/counter-point:

Point: "Installing most software on Windows is usually a sequence of next button clicks. Installing on Linux is a nightmare."

Counter-point: "apt-get install php"

hoser made a good point about why the box doesn't have gcc installed.  Lots of posts about using the package management for the distribution.  Many some comments about "why they are you administering this box is you have no experience" -- valid but holier-than-thou pratish.  I don't think it's all that bad.

Almost Anonymous
Thursday, June 03, 2004

From what I can tell, Vlad the OP never did require the gcc installation, since he installed PHP binaries via rpm.  If binaries were compiled, then rpm would not have known about them and would have complained.

So, I am curious:

Did you have to install gcc?
Did you have to compile binaries, or were they all available in rpm form?

hoser
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Who doesn't like a good old Linux rules/sucks flame fest. I noticed that the good advice: get your rpm's either at Redhat or rpmfind.net have been answered.

Now that you're done installing PHP and MySQL on Redhat 7.1, you might want to know that this specific Redhat version is EOL and does not get anymore security patches, meaning the system is a sitting duck for the bad guys.

I am looking forward to the new topic describing your experiences upgrading to Debian or the latest Redhat version ;)

Jan Derk
Thursday, June 03, 2004

"Now that you're done installing PHP and MySQL on Redhat 7.1, you might want to know that this specific Redhat version is EOL and does not get anymore security patches, meaning the system is a sitting duck for the bad guys.

I am looking forward to the new topic describing your experiences upgrading to Debian or the latest Redhat version ;)"

Actually, I think the next stage should be along these lines:

Whaddaya mean, "no more security patches"??!! Look here, even MS has laready extended its support to 10 years. I can run my Win98 until 2008. Seesh!

:)

And the fact is, if the headlines are true, you'll be able to run Win2K until 2009-2010.

Paulo Caetano
Thursday, June 03, 2004

I'm not a Redhat person, but 7.1 sounds kind of old.  I imagine they've improved since then?

I use Debian.  Installing php is as tough as "apt-get install php3".  I presume Redhat has something similar.  If you have to compile it by hand, your distro isn't doing a very good job, and from what I've heard, Redhat probably isn't *that* bad.

(Or I could have chosen "Synaptic Package Manager" from the Applications menu, typed "php" in the search box, and clicked the "Install" button.  But I'm old-school Unix.)

Perhaps there's somewhere on the web where Redhat users can get help with their systems?  I know most distros have mailing lists and newsgroups and chat channels for this sort of thing.

Wally
Thursday, June 03, 2004


Who installs a Linux box without a C compiler? The "security argument" is BS, given the fact that I can just compile the app on another Linux box and upload it.

Sounds like the guy who set up the box originally was not terribly skilled.

Also, there is probably no need to compile (even with an old distribution like that.) Look for an RPM on rpmfind.net...

VoidIfRemoved
Thursday, June 03, 2004

Paolo, the fact that RH 7, 8 and 9 are no longer supported is more a Redhat thing than a Linux thing. The stock holders were trying to optimize their profits by EOLing all current RH versions.

If you want to run a reliable, secure and very boring server use a community driven stable distribution from Debian or FreeBSD. They don't suffer from stock driven decisions.

Jan Derk
Thursday, June 03, 2004

It's amazing to me this is even a debate.  In the last 10 years I've taught myself to do Windows sysadmin, and I've taught myself to do Linux sysadmin.  It's no contest.  For doing anything new, Windows is almost always less trouble than Linux.

Mind you, this was different in the years before plug and play.  For my first small office ethernet network (Win NT 3.51 / Win 3.11) it took days to configure IRQ's, etc.  But most hardware and software installations on Windows are pretty painless these days, experience or no.

More recently, I tried to set up a home WiFi network.  I had to download a wifi patch to the kernel.  My distro (Debian) doesn't support it, I went to a non-standard package site.  Recompiled the kernel.  Screwed it up.  Rebooted off the rescue disk, recompiled, booted, got an unhelpful driver error.  Etc etc, etc.  And it still doesn't work.

With Windows, I stick the card in, turn on the computer and it works.  Period.

Maybe I'm incompetent, but I've spent the last 3 years managing a Linux server.  Stuff I know how to do, usually not a problem.  Anything new or non-standard takes days.

(Mind you, I prefer Linux to Windows for servers.  There's other reasons I like and use it.  But ease of install is not one of them).

Voice of Rationality
Friday, June 04, 2004

For heaven's sake get Slackware and swaret! What's all this fuss with RH?

.
Friday, June 04, 2004

Linux, I have found, is a pain to install things on. Partly because the people writing the installers have multiple moving targets, and frankly some of those targets are one-off "I moved /etc" type affairs.

By contrast, Windows is great to install things on. They just don't work 100% when installed.

We installed some wifi cards: the linux driver required some faffing about and knowing the MAC number so I could set up the "given a MAC address, work out which driver to load" configurarion. Once installed, it did work correctly. It included things like a report of how loud the packets were against the background EM noise and things like that...

The windows driver "just installed" off the CDROM. The card works, as long as Duncan remembers to restart the network connections every so often when they just spontaneously hang...

FWIW, I've gone right off redhat, although my boss swears by it. I'm using debian unstable on my work machines, and it's been a lot less painful since I switched. Largely, my issue with RH is that things work with particular versions and not others, and I don't think they should be monkeying about with the OS layout THAT much between minor versions.

Katie Lucas
Friday, June 04, 2004

If the project budget didn't even allow for a Windows licence, they sure as hell can't afford any RHEL now can they.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, June 04, 2004

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