Building & Installing on Red Hat Systems (Was: Make error - Solved)

John Dennis jdennis at
Tue Dec 2 16:37:55 CET 2008

Jos Vos wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 02, 2008 at 09:18:25AM +0000, A.L.M.Buxey at wrote:
>> it would help immensely if Fedora, RHEL, CentOS et al actually
>> supplied up to date version of FreeRADIUS - ie at least 2.0.5
>> (if not 2.1.1 !) rather than the historic 1.1.x (or even 1.0.x!)
>> if such a version was available via yum/up2date then almost
>> all queries for how to build source on such distros would
>> disappear
> OK, I can't resist reacting again:
> RHEL (and thus CentOS) are conservative "enterprise" distros and thus
> do *not* include the newest ("bleeding edge") release of everything
> as soon as it comes out.  They want to stay compatible through the
> 7 (!) years of support time.  This is how it is and this is, in
> principle, a good idea (for that purpose).  Exceptions are made
> (Firefox 3 is included now) and security bugs are fixed via backports.
> But if FreeRADIUS would be bumped to a higher release, there will
> probably be incompatibilities that are, in principe, not acceptable.
> Fedora has a different policy and *does* include recent releases *now*
> (in fact, these RPMs were built on November 25): F9 *and* F10 have 2.2.1.
> If you have the need for a newer release on RHEL/CentOS, the best
> recipe is to take a Fedora src.rpm and rebuild it on your RHEL/CentOS
> version.  This might require some changes (and some knowledge about
> RPM and other things).
> Packaging software for a distro means *integrating* the software in
> the distro (examples are changes to init scripts, compliance with
> local packaging standards, etc.) so it's better to start with the
> Fedora package, being part of the "Red Hat family of distros", than
> with the generic FreeRADIUS RPM (this applies to almost all software).
> B.t.w. if there is the need for a more "neutral" version of this story
> for a FAQ or wiki, I'm happy to write that.  It's really important that
> people understand the philosophy of distros.
Thank you Jos, this is a very good explanation. I tried to allude to the 
philosophy of the different distributions but was too brief for it to be 
clear. I'll update the FAQ and if you don't mind I'll borrow some of 
your words. Please feel free to update the wiki yourself (you'll have to 
request a wiki account) or send it to me directly.

It really is critical folks understand the philosophy of the RHEL/CentOS 
distributions, it drives many of the release decisions.

The current version of FreeRADIUS in RHEL5/CentOS is 1.1.3. It is very 
unlikely the 1.1.3 version will ever be removed from RHEL5 because of 
the commitment for version stability in an enterprise distribution. On 
the other hand we recognize peoples desire for a more current (e.g. 2.1) 
version of FreeRADIUS in RHEL5. The only way that can happen is for us 
to provide a new FreeRADIUS package under a new and different name 
because it cannot replace the existing 1.1.3 FreeRADIUS package. I am 
working to make this happen, but because this is an exception to the 
rules of the distribution it requires a fair amount of management buy-in 
and sheparding through a convoluted set of procedures. I cannot make a 
promise this will happen but I'm trying to get this approved for the 
RHEL 5.4 update which is still a fair ways out.

In the mean time, RHEL/CentOS user's most productive course of action if 
they want a 2.1 version of FreeRADIUS is to build the RPM's themselves 
on their RHEL/CentOS systems. This is one of the reasons I wrote the 
FAQ, to provide you with instructions on how to build the RPM's yourself.



John Dennis <jdennis at>

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