The IUS Community Project is aimed at providing up to date and regularly maintained RPM packages for the latest upstream versions of PHP, Python, MySQL and other common software specifically for Redhat Enterprise Linux. IUS can be thought of as a better way to upgrade RHEL, when you need to.
The IUS Community Project is a brain child of the RPM Development Team at Rackspace Hosting. Since 2006, we have provided and maintain packages for the latest versions of PHP/MySQL and other common software on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, because a lot of our customers strongly demand it. Internally we maintain a number of package sets for an audience of thousands of production servers. Until now, these packages have only been available internally to Rackspace customers. After a while we started thinking: Why not make this available publicly for everyone to benefit?
Updates for existing packages, as well as new packages, will be made available to the community first during a ‘testing’ stage. We give it some time to bake and allow IUS users to test the packages out and submit bug reports if necessary. After testing, those packages will join the IUS ‘stable’ repository. For new packages, we require the requester to do some testing and give feedback before we will push a package into the stable repository. For updates, we allow two weeks for feedback before pushing package into the stable repository. Updates that contain fixes for CVEs will get pushed into the stable repository sooner. We want to make sure that the the community has given some time to test the update, but also want to push the update in a timely fashion.
IUS Community is run by full time Linux Engineers employed by Rackspace, therefore making the project ‘Sponsored by Rackspace’. That said, IUS is not a service of Rackspace. That means: It’s free! (And unsupported!) Please read the End User Agreement. Support for IUS users can be found within our mailing lists and bug tracking system.
The IUS Community Project is also SafeRepo Aware, see The SafeRepo Initiative.
With the large scale use of our packages across the world, we are able to provide valuable feedback to the upstream vendors regarding the latest stable versions of their software. Any bugs reported for IUS Community Packages will be fixed by the IUS CoreDev Team where possible, and the report and suggested fix will also be pushed upstream to the software vendor. Having a large community that is constantly using the latest versions of software from the vendor (without having to manually update it) gets real time feedback to those vendors, helping them solidify their product more rapidly.
By using IUS Community Packages, you are constantly helping upstream vendors to make their products better. All you have to do is be vocal and report any issues you might have after a package update to the IUS Community Repositories.
IUS Community Packages offer the latest upstream stable versions of software built for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. There is an inherent risk when using bleeding edge software, and as such users must understand that they are forfeiting the stability of Red Hat packages in favor of getting updated software. That said, we attempt to fulfill the demand for servers that absolutely need the latest versions of software. We like to think of IUS as “a better way to upgrade RHEL, if you really need to.”
IUS has a strict packaging model that enables users to subscribe to our repo, but only receive new packages and updates if you explicitly install one of our packages sets. Therefore, you can enjoy the stability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux for the majority of the system but also provide your developers with the latest PHP, Python, MySQL etc if that is what their applications demand.
The IUS Community Project is new, ever growing and changing. That said, currently we have the following goals in mind:
- Provide quality RPMs for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (and clones)
- Establish ourselves as a reliable means of upgrading certain parts of RHEL
- Offer more than one major version of software per repo/distro.
IUS packages the most popular branches of upstream software. For example, we currently maintain packages for PHP 5.2, PHP 5.3, MySQL 5.0, MySQL 5.1, etc all within the same repository. This approach allows end users to have more control over the software on their server, without the fuss of maintaining multiple repos.