I thought I would post somewhat of a rebuttal to http://marcin.juszkiewicz.com.pl/2015/02/11/rawhide-unwanted-baby-in-fedora-world/ with some of my thoughts around Fedora rawhide and try and clear up some misconceptions.

There are indeed people using Rawhide day to day. I myself have for the last few years, and I know there are a number of others (based on IRC conversations and posts to the test list). Regarding the KF5 issues, this is a somewhat unstable time for KF5, as they are just now landing things and integrating them and also gcc just updated to 5.0, causing them some issues. Perhaps some of this work could have been done in a copr or the like, but sometimes it’s really hard to anticipate what will happen when you finally build in the official Fedora buildsystem. I don’t think the common answer here should be “you should expect that in rawhide”, but instead “You should understand that at times various parts of rawhide may be under more work and help them work around those issues”. I’ve definitely run into situations in the last few years where something was broken and I couldn’t use it, but I reported bugs on them and people fixed them up. In the mean time it’s always good to have alternatives.

As for IRC, rawhide issues are 100% on-topic for both the #fedora-devel and #fedora-qa channels. It’s very true that people in #fedora will tell you you are asking in the wrong place (they only support stable releases there), but if anyone in #fedora-devel or #fedora-qa tells you that, they are wrong. Also, realize that IRC is a async media. You may well have better luck filing a bug or posting to a mailing list depending on the time and nature of your question.

I tried to make sure and capture the audience for rawhide on the Fedora rawhide wiki page: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/Rawhide#Audience

Finally, in coming months, some improvements/plans for rawhide:

  • We hope to finish our automated signing for rawhide. Once this is in place it would allow us to know that everything is signed in rawhide, and as a bonus would give us a gating point via koji tags (ie, right now builds just go to f22 tag, but after we land this things will go to a f22-pending tag or the like, then get signed or have other things run on them).
  • Once we have that in place we have a gating point and we can hook automated qa type things into it. Basic problems could be detected and the build never pushed out.
  • I’d personally like to revist the idea of shipping previous versions in rawhide (ie, foo-1.0-1.fc23 and foo-1.0-2.fc23) to allow for easier downgrades. Will need to try and convince the rest of releng to do that however, and it would make things larger.
  • There’s likely to be a mass rebuild in rawhide in the next few weeks. Both for the gcc5 change and also for hardened_build by default.

If anyone has questions about rawhide, feel free to ask me in #fedora-devel on irc, the devel list or via email, happy to help out.