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Repository Mixing Problems

Fedora Extras packages are designed and tested to work smoothly with only the supported releases of Fedora Core and Red Hat Linux and other Fedora Extras packages. If you have installed custom packages from other respositories, it is likely that you will run into compatibility problems, especially if the other repository is not designed to be compatible with Fedora Extras or Fedora Core. The Fedora Extras project has made a decision that we cannot guarantee compatibility with other repositories because it is unmaintainable for these reasons:

  • The only way to avoid package conflicts when using multiple repositories is to completely avoid publishing packages that somebody else packages. This is obviously not an option because it would be too limiting for the Fedora project.
  • Coordination among two or more repositories for compatibility would be far too difficult and incur much greater overhead. Updates would often involve multiple repository owners working in coordinated development and simultaneous publishing in order to prevent user breakage. This is a huge amount of extra development overhead.
  • Users may also have any arbitrary mix of repositories, creating an unsupportable testing nightmare.

The Problem and What To Do About It

The main reason why users use multiple repositories is because one repository does not have all the packages that they want. The entire purpose of the Fedora Project is to unite the many independent packagers to work together in a development team, to build a central repository of higher quality and quantity packages than they are able to make alone. So rather than adding other repositories to your apt/yum configuration just because Fedora does not have the packages you want, please do the following:

  • Encourage the independent packager to submit their packages to Fedora Extras. After package inspection, QA testing and some security verification, their package can be included in the Fedora Extras tree. The original packager gains the support of other Fedora developers, Fedora users, Bugzilla and other infrastructure to raise the level of quality and compatibility of submitted packages.
  • If the independent packager is not interested in joining Fedora, you could submit packages yourself or talk to existing Fedora developers and maybe they will want to convert the package for inclusion into Fedora Extras.