Springdale Linux came about before the invention of CentOS, and is the OS of choice in Peyton Hall for the moment. Previously we used RedHat, followed by Fedora Core (later called Fedora) and CentOS. It is a locally maintained derivative of RedHat Enterprise Linux and follows their release roadmap.
The move to Springdale was for a few reasons:
- While Fedora releases are every couple months, Springdale releases are less frequent. This means that over the lifespan of a given computer, we may only need to do one full install of an OS, maybe two - instead of one every few months as we would if we wanted to use Fedora. This is helpful to developers in the department since they aren't developing software for a moving target OS. Part of the reason for frequent reinstalls would be because of security updates, which brings us to the next reason.
- Springdale receives security patches for a span of around five years. Compare that with Fedora, which only will release patches until the next release is superseded (for example, Fedora 6 will get no more patches when Fedora 8 is released). With releases coming every couple months, this means it doesn't take long before a version of Fedora is out of date and possibly vulnerable to attack, while Springdale receives security updates for the foreseeable future.
Why is Foonly 2.1 installed and not Foonly 2.5?
You would have to ask the maintainers of RedHat Enterprise Linux, which is what Springdale is derived from.
Why can't you just install Foonly 2.5?
In some cases, we might be able to. If the package is readily available in one of the popular add-on repositories, then we can request that it be added to the unsupported repository and made available to all Springdale machines. If not, you can still ask, but it may be better to install it in your home or scratch directory.