Since I left the Centos Project’s QA team in August, I’ve slowly been moving all my workstations to Scientific Linux 6. This is not for any real need of their “scientific spins”, it’s more that I need a EL6 clone with regular updates, and I’m not a fan of the centos cr/ repository.
Having some copious free time tonight, I was catching up on bookmarked and tagged blogposts when I came across a post by Major Hayden (a rackerhacker), regarding the automatic updating of SL to the newest point releases when it drops.
It turns out that SL won’t update you to the newest point release automatically. Most distros in the RH world simply force an update by symlinking the value of $releasever (ie 4, 5, 6)to the current release (ie – for centos, 5/ currently links to 5.7/, when 5.8 drops, it will be relinked to 5.8/) and all machines running EL5 will pull down the new point release when they next run a ‘yum update’. (There are ways around this, I’ll explain them in another post if there is interest). SL appears to map $releasever to the full release.point value, which means your machine stays at that point release, even well after the .point+2 release drops.
So, how to get around this? The best way is to install the sl6x repository with
yum install yum-conf-sl6x
and then confirm it’s operation by looking at the output of
$ yum repolist
repo id repo name status
sl Scientific Linux 6.1 - x86_64 6,251
sl-security Scientific Linux 6.1 - x86_64 - security updates 556
sl6x Scientific Linux 6x - x86_64 6,251
sl6x-security Scientific Linux 6x - x86_64 - security updates 556
this will mean that a regular ‘yum update’ will keep your SL machine up to date as new point releases drop.
For Servers I’m intending to use a new server-orientated distro that’s currently in cloak state until all the build queue and everything are bedded down, and we can two full releases through without issues, but there’ll be more to come on that front later.