Ok so I decided to install Fedora 7 on my desktop after receiving an email regarding my post on getting the SMC 2862W-G wireless USB dongle working on Ubuntu. Go through the installation and setup, and everything seems pretty polished and from what I’ve heard of Fedora (previously Fedora Core) product line. During the installation I
purposely stupidly left out some packages thinking that I would try to install them later to see how package installation is without an Internet connection. Besides if I don’t have my wireless driver compiled and loaded how can I get online right? (the router is upstairs and I am NOT lugging my desktop upstairs)
System installed and booted up first thing I did click the “Applications” menu, and I see the “Add/Remove Software” so thats where I go. It prompts me for my password and then I see the application starting and then a nice error message informing me that it is “Unable to retrieve software information”. Fair enough, I’m not online so it can’t connect to the repositories. There is a “Details” section which displays the nice message of “None”. So I click on the “Ok” button of this error dialogue box and *poof* the whole application just closes. So how am I supposed to install packages?
I see “Software updater” in the “System Tools” menu and I try that. Same problem. Search online and I get this post. Currently I am reading through trying to familiarize myself with this different side of Linux that I had yet to venture into. I could just use
rpm to install some stuff but dependency hell just like
dpkg in Debian based distros arise. But fact of the matter is why can’t they just enable installation of files from the CD by default? There is 2.7GB worth of packages in the DVD which is useless to those trying to learn how to use Linux and all.
Found this post that enabled me to update via the GUI installer,
pirut, but not via the command line
yum. Being curious I got on IRC and join #fedora and asked them about it. One guy asked if I could use
rpm and after a bit of dependency annoyances (as with any manual package installer e.g.
dpkg) I managed to install one of the dependencies for
gcc. So I tried using
pirut again and got the same exception as I got for
yum. Man this is bad. Yes there are some working fixes that I’ve read, such as copying the packages from the DVD to the hard drive but I want to use the DVD which has shown that it could work with
I think David said it best in the post from the 1st link above:
Prominent Linux distributions have greatly improved that software installation and update process over the last decade. Both Debian-derived and RPM-based distributions now have good support for accessing large repositories of packages over the internet. If you have good internet access, then you don’t really need the distribution CDs or DVD after the initial install. But I wonder if the emphasis on installation over the internet has seems to have reached the point that distributions are neglecting installation of packages from CD/DVD. I hope that ability doesn’t disappear. Although fast internet connections are widely available now, it’s still quite possible to find yourself without one. And many DSL providers set monthly data limits, so it’s sometimes preferable not to download packages that you already have sitting on a CD or DVD.
Is that too much to ask for?