A bit after getting to my current shop, I requested some serious iron for my work and it was decided I would have a Linux box. The question came up as to which flavor, and after canvassing my networks we went with Ubuntu. I had never administered a Linux system before and had to learn the whole package installation procedure, which is so easy even I could learn it. The "apt" tool works beautifully 99% of the time, not only getting and installing the package of interest but also all its dependencies. The occasional exceptions were cases where either the package of interest didn't seem to be available from a package repository or the Ubuntu repositories were behind the version I needed. But in general, it was nice and painless.
Earlier this year, it was clear I needed an Oracle play space and the obvious place was my machine -- not only is it quite powerful, but then any blow-back from any misdeeds of mine would hit only the perpetrator. However, when our skilled Oracle expert contractor tried to install Oracle, not much luck -- Oracle apparently doesn't support Ubuntu well. So the decision was made to switch to Red Hat.
This did not go cleanly -- the admins were fighting with the reinstall most of the week (the RAID drive had protections on it that did not wish to go quietly) but finally the new system was configured on Friday. So on Saturday night, I declared to "Amanda, I know what we are going to do today! Install packages!".
Now, I've actually made a consistent habit here of logging all my installs, so I had a menu of what to try to install. Some quick Googling found some guides to using the different installation tools on Red Hat. So I started trying to install stuff. A few went cleanly, but that is definitely the rarity -- and the worst part is that R is proving to be a major headache.
The problem is trying to get all the dependencies to install, and R has a heap. The fact that many have "-devel" in the title can't make things easy. Worse, one package required "tetex-latex" is no longer supported by its creator. Despite configuring multiple repositories and trying to download some packages manually, I have made little headway so far. So from that standpoint, at the moment my system is "Busted!".
Now, I could blame our contractor, but how was he to know this would be so miserable (though the comment by someone at Red Hat support that this is the first time he'd heard of someone going from Ubuntu to Red Hat does give pause!)? I could also take umbrage with the Linux community, which seems to be a hydra of endless subvariants (Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, Red Hat Enterprise, CentOS, Fedora, Mandriva -- and I'm sure that's an incomplete list!). But, it's easiest to blame Oracle, who doesn't support Ubuntu, and if I'm going to do that I'll single out the face of Oracle. On the other hand, it's a bit pointless to hold anger over this against Mr. Ellison. He's a CEO; they don't do much.