[dns-operations] New subscribers

Michael Sinatra michael at rancid.berkeley.edu
Wed Dec 29 05:18:02 UTC 2010

On 12/28/10 20:55, Brielle Bruns wrote:
> 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...

Yes, but...

Some OSes are better built for cutting edge applications and certain 
types of services.  Just this afternoon, UCB's lead email admin scoffed 
at me for using Gentoo Linux for a small set of performance-monitoring 
machines (these were built before the maturity of PerfSonar) that run 
some of the Internet2 tools.  I find that Gentoo is much better suited 
for custom compilation of most-recent-version software (including 
web100-patched kernels) than, say, RedHat, which is my email admin's 
preference.  (He wrote the original RedHat installer, BTW.)

This is true with DNS.  If you're going to jump into the DNSSEC river 
and learn to swim, you need the latest versions of BIND or unbound or 
whatever your fancy.  That's just the nature of the game right now.  And 
having to get the Fedora SRPMS of latest packages and compile them on 
RHEL 5 or 6 is a bit more of a pain than just 'emerge bind'--for exactly 
the reasons you mention.

As for production DNS servers, I prefer FreeBSD, because it provides a 
lot of the same cutting-edge flexibility as gentoo, but with great 

I also agree that part of the lost art of system administration is 
building your own packages, checking and fixing dependencies, and even 
(gasp!) porting code--and understanding when it is and isn't necessary 
to do those things.


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