[dns-operations] New subscribers

Brielle Bruns bruns at 2mbit.com
Wed Dec 29 04:55:23 UTC 2010

On 12/28/10 8:53 PM, Noel Butler wrote:
> That's a rarity, most people are too scared to use anything other than
> their distros released packages, perhaps its laziness, perhaps
> they don't know any better, or perhaps they are just plain ignorant, I
> think it sadly says a lot bout the calibre of many system admins these days.

There are a few gotchas that can happen with self compiled source or 
customized packages on a system that uses a package manager...

Dependencies can be upset if you use a self compiled library over a 
packaged library - ie: if you have openssh, which depends on openssl, 
and you want to hand compile openssl, you will either need to create a 
dummy openssl package to 'provide' these dependencies, or force install 
of the openssh package which may cause problems later on during upgrades.

Package managers like aptitude will attempt to 'fix' these breaks, or 
upgrade the package (unless you pin the dummy).  Its a losing battle 
sometimes unless you are going for an end user application rather then a 

An example of a package that sorta works around this is exim4 under 
debian - you can build a specific custom package with your own options, 
and its called exim4-daemon-custom.  Since debian doesn't provide a 
exim4-daemon-custom of their own, it wouldn't be automatically upgraded, 
and it provides all the requirements as an alternative for 

You can usually 'override' the system libs and bins by making sure 
/usr/local/{bin,lib} is in the path and linker before / and /usr...  But 
thats a good way to run into unexpected behavior at times.

There's always tradeoffs when you use a certain type of setup...  Quick 
fast setup with package managers (debian, fedora, etc) but lacking 
optimization and compiling customization...  Or agonizing 12+ hour whole 
system build/upgrade times but the system is highly optimized to your 
specific build (if you've ever had to build qt/kde/gtk/etc from scratch 
every time a new build comes out, you know what I mean).

Note I'm coming from a mixed background - I started out in Redhat 
4.2/5.x, A/UX (if you've never heard/used A/UX, then your missing out on 
Apple's first and well designed UNIX OS), then Fedora, and now Debian 
and MacOS X with Macports.  I've also built my own homebrew OSs for my 
firewall products back in the early 2000s...

In the end, I'm willing to trade off the customizing options for 
consistent system builds and ease of deployment.  Hence why I use Debian 
for servers and firewalls these days.

Brielle Bruns
The Summit Open Source Development Group
http://www.sosdg.org    /     http://www.ahbl.org

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