[IAEP] Local software installation

Bernie Innocenti bernie at codewiz.org
Thu Apr 15 15:35:07 EDT 2010

On Thu, 2010-04-15 at 14:48 -0400, Bernie Innocenti wrote:

> For a future release cycle, we may want to re-evaluate yum-updatesd as
> an alternative to olpc-updates which provides different trade-offs in
> terms of performance, robustness and distro integration. At the time
> olpc-update was written, yum was still awfully buggy and unreliable.

This brings up again an old question: is the installation of additional
packages something we support and encourage? In the past, we could get
along with a straight answer: "no". (although some exceptions were made
for things such as Adobe Flash).

Now that we're shipping Gnome alongside Sugar, both environments
obviously need a mechanism for software installation. Even though we
provide no package management GUI in Gnome, children of Caacupé have
already learned how to use yum from the terminal. Shall we remove it,
making things a little harder? I bet they'll quickly figure out a

The most effective way to prevent local software installation would
consist in taking away root privileges from users, thus violating OLPC's
first principle.

There's an immense benefit in unleashing the immense software library
provided by any Linux distro, enough to counter-balance the concern of
some adventurous users breaking their systems in some clever way.
There's no damage that couldn't be restored by the quick remedy of
reflashing the OS.

   // Bernie Innocenti - http://codewiz.org/
 \X/  Sugar Labs       - http://sugarlabs.org/

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