Posted by: vwbusguy | January 16, 2009

Help Needed : #Fedora-EOL

It’s unnatural, it’s unethical, and it’s just plain wrong.  Why would anyone want to support an end of life version.  There are three reasons why:

#1 : Despite the fact that updates have ceased, there are situations where the end user might not have an internet facing machine or has backported their own updates, and has self-maintained their system and did not see upgrades as worth the time because after all, the machine is still sitting there working.

#2 : One of the biggest reasons I started using Fedora was that I had just bought a new machine and was annoyed that if I put Windows on it, there were restrictions about what I could or could not do with my own machine.  Fedora allowed me the freedom to do whatever I wanted with my own machine.  I can respect if someone really liked FC5 in a way that other versions failed to grab them.  After all, it’s their machine and their freedom to accept the risks of an end of life OS.

#3 : Because there may be community members willing to help those with EOL versions.

I have registered a new channel on freenode, #Fedora-EOL.  Anyone who wants support for an end of life version of Fedora or wants to help out is welcome.  This is just a support channel.  I am not backporting packages or trying to revive Fedora-Legacy or start a new debate about Fedora LTS.  This is solely a medium for community support for a left out demographic.

Helpers welcome!!



  1. IMHO giving support for unmaintained obsolete software is really counterproductive. Refusing to answer questions is really the only way we can force at least some people to upgrade. The fact is, NOBODY should be running EOL releases. Getting questions actually answered is pretty much the only incentive strong enough to convince some people (because they don’t realize the importance of things like security updates).

    So let me voice my dissent and strong discouragement to helping out anybody running an unsupported Fedora release, whether on that chan or anywhere else.

    The only thing which makes sense to reply to a question which starts with “I’m using Fedora n” where n<9 is "Fedora n is no longer supported. Please upgrade to at least Fedora 9 (Fedora 10 recommended)."

    As for the scenarios you describe in #1, those are really just excuses. I’m sure you know as well as me that the vast majority of machines is not sitting in some closet unconnected to the rest of the world and is not getting all security fixes backported (in fact I doubt there’s even a single machine getting ALL security holes fixed, if it was that easy, legacy repos would spring up like mushrooms). So please do not delude yourself: by answering those questions, you are helping keep machines vulnerable to the next script kiddie who passes by.

  2. Undoubtedly there are _some_ who are naive and overconfident in their legacy systems. But again, who are we to tell them they absolutely cannot run a legacy OS on _their_ hardware. No one is required to support them, and often advising a legacy user to upgrade _is_ the best advice.

    This is just a medium for those in the community who want to offer EOL support to have a place to do that. This way we can keep it out of #Fedora where support versions are supported.

  3. Kevin, I gotta say, I don’t know that I could possibly disagree with you more.

    There are plenty of well-informed people who make the well-informed choice to run old versions of Fedora. Like, say, major universities, large companies, and governments. This certainly does not obligate us to maintain those old versions, but open source is all about choice and community.

    So good on ya, vwbusguy. Personally, I think it’s a fool’s errand. 😉 But there are people all around our community who have taken fool’s errands and turned them into gold.

  4. Certainly controversial but good that you are providing a place for them neverthless. I am not at all sold on the idea but an more inclusive community is almost always a good thing. Go for it.

  5. I agree — you are running stuff behind firewall I can see lots of reasons for wanting older versions.

    We’d like folks to upgrade, but heck, I’d like a longer update cycle for every Fedora release. If this is helpful for some good deal, but what would be really helpful is a longer updates period.

  6. Michael,

    While I agree that extended package support would be nice for Fedora versions, especially as I’m growing more and more fond of fedora 9. However, I am not ready to commit to backporting. If someone else would like to contribute with that, that would be awesome, but that’s just too much for at this point.

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