I have started to run a personal server using CentOS and I have noticed that many packages that are available to install from repository are old compared with the latest release from the developer.

I know that installing packages from repository is very easy and I guess that the supplied versions are stable and prepared to work without any trouble, but I still find odd having so much software that lags behind the current version.

It's my first time with linux and I don't know what is the "normal" thing, should I stick to whatever version the repository supplies, or try to get the latest from the developer?

To be more precisely, the repository supplies the apache httpd web server with version 2.2, I wanted to update to 2.4, so I started removing apache and its dependencies packages that come with centos to use the latest ones, but when I was about to remove pcre v6 to replace it with v8, i found out that 132 installed packages depend on it and probably it is not a good idea to remove it, so that made me think twice about getting the latest software instead of using the packages supplied by the official repositories.

Should I leave things as they are instead of going on an upgrade rampage?


1 Answer 1


Without careful PATH, LD_LIBRARY_PATH, etc., management, maintaining packages ahead of or outside the repo can be tricky. You'll have to carefully control the environment for everything to work properly. Descending into "dependency hell" is all too easy. That said, it's still posssible.

You should also know that there is always some time lag between the developers and the Linux distro repo maintainers. In addition, different Linux distros have a reputation for being more "cutting edge", while others have a reputation for more stability. Other distros have different primary goals that may affect the developer-to-distro time lag.

CentOS's primary goal is to track Redhat, so you'll find in CentOS whatever Redhat has for that particular release. You may want to try other distros, e.g., Fedora. Fedora is known for being more "cutting edge" and currently has version 2.4.6 in its repos for Apache's httpd. Fedora is also supported by Redhat so you may find it less different from CentOS/Redhat than other distros if that is important to you. Other distros also have httpd 2.4 in their repos if you want to go exploring.

  • 1
    I see, i wasn't aware of those differences between distros, my decision to choose CentOS was mostly random as I didn't have thought about all this yet beeing a linux newbie. Thnks
    – fran
    Oct 29, 2013 at 9:23

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