Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) 6 Released

Jan 20, 2011

Kevin Fenzi, one of release-engineers for Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) and long time member of the EPEL Fedora Special Interest Group (SIG) discusses the EPEL 6 release.

The Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) project is announces the release of EPEL 6. The EPEL project is a volunteer-based community effort originating from the Fedora project. EPEL creates a repository of add-on packages that complement the Fedora-based Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and its compatible spin-offs, such as CentOS and Scientific Linux. Since the EPEL is part of the Fedora packaging community, its packages are 100% free/libre open source software (FLOSS).

EPEL 6 features include rt3 (The Request Tracker Bug and Ticket tracking system, as well asit's 90 perl packages dependencies), trac (Project management system, along with many plugins), haproxy, varnish and lighttpd proxies and web servers, backupPC, rdiff-backup and other backup clients, a large stack of Ruby packages, spamassassin plugins, clamav and other mail server and filtering solutions, rkhunter and chkrootkit security scanners, collectd, munin, nagios and cacti monitoring solutions, over 600 perl packages and more.

Fenzi tells Linux Pro Magazine Online that the ability to leverage a collection of high quality, well maintained packages ready to be used on those platforms are but a few of the benefits EPEL brings to RHEL, CENTOS, and Scientific Linux Users. "Additionally," Fenzi says, "the ability to join our community and help maintain or fix those packages. So, you can collaborate with all the other users of that software and save time, money and effort.

When asked, "What served as the catalyst for this project?" Fenzi responded "The EPEL project was born when Fedora maintainers realized that the same infrastructure that builds and maintains packages would be great to also maintain add on packages for RHEL. Much of the early need was driven by what Fedora infrastructure needed on the RHEL machines that built and maintained Fedora. From there things have grown to a large collection of varied packages."

This is a community based project and there are some Red Hat developers who are working on EPEL; however, Fenzi stated as far as he knew they [the Red Hat developers] were working on EPEL in their own time not as part of their jobs.

Fenzi says what excites him most about the EPEL project on both personal and professional level is the company he works for makes extensive use of EPEL packages, so it's helpful to them on a day to day basis. "I will be excited when the Xfce desktop packages are all in EPEL. We don't have them in now at launch to allow time to update to the newly released released 4.8 version. I'm happy to see packages I maintain used widely and others contributing to them," he added.

"We are a very open project and welcome any new contibutors," says Fenzi about the EPEL Community, "and getting involved is as easy as joining the mailing list and the #epel IRC channel on freenode.net."

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