Development host preferences?

Ralf Corsepius ralf.corsepius at
Wed Oct 22 06:15:47 UTC 2008

On Tue, 2008-10-21 at 16:34 -0700, mike wrote:
> Hi all,
> Please forgive me if this is a dumb question:
> We are using an i386 Linux box running Redhat 2.4 for RTEMS development.
> It has been working fine to cross compile for a sparc target (gcc,
> grmon, gdb etc..) .
> However, the version is pretty old.
Whoa ... I guess you are referring to RHEL2?

>  The questions are:
> - is it a good idea to switch to Fedora?
Well, I am using Fedora, and so is OAR :-)

> - Any prefer Fedora version?
> - Any potential problem if we switch?
Difficult to answer, because these questions touch several areas at once

1. There is a huge technology gap between RHEL2 and any modern Linux
distro. For sure, this may cause problems during upgrades when not being
used to modern Linux distros.

2. Fedora is a more desktop-oriented distro, aiming at being a
Linux/OpenSource technology lead/technology integration platform. As a
consequence of this, Fedora tries to provide the "latest and greatest,
considered stable technology". 

The pros:
* provides latest technology
* bugs tend to get fixed quickly
* maintained by an active community of volunteers and RH employees.

The cons:
* frequent releases (2 per year)
* comparatively short-lifed (1 year)
* fairly frequent updates/bugfixes.
* not always "rock-solid".

3. RHEL is a commercial enterprise server-oriented distro, aiming at
long term usage server use-cases. Technology-wise it is
ultra-conservatively maintained (preserving ABIs/APIs).

The pros:
* infrequently released
* very long lived (7 years)
* fairly infrequent updates/bugfixes.
* claimed to be "rock-solid"

The cons:
* much smaller/incomplete than Fedora
* ultra-conservatively maintained/tied to old technology
* maintained by a not necessarily cooperative enterprise
* opensource, but binaries are non-free (Alternative: CentOS, a free
recompilation from RHEL's sources).

That said, whether Fedora is an appropriate choice for you primarily
depends on your individual use-cases and your capabilities/resources,
esp. the ability to handle frequent updates/upgrades.

As far as RTEMS development alone is concerned, any active Fedora
release (ATM: Fedora 8 and Fedora 9) and the latest RHEL (RHEL5 rsp.
CentOS5) releases both should be comparably fine, because most technical
advances Fedora has over RHEL do not really matter for working at/with

RHEL/CentOS < 5 already are showing their age and do not meet some newer
RTEMS' developments' technical demands.

> Thanks for any comments and inputs. They will be greatly appreciated.
My current recommendation to getting started with Fedora is "current
stable Fedora", i.e. Fedora 9.


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