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Old 01-10-2014, 06:54 AM   #1
Location: Ohio

Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 95
Default Revisiting Linux distributions...

First, a bit of background. Currently, my lab (a core facility) is using the 454 FLX+. Our data rig, which we use for the Roche software suite and not much else, is running RHEL 6, and our purchase with Red Hat has expired. RHEL has been quite a pain, what with the dependencies and all, and our lack of an in-house Linux expert. Im currently trying to get QIIME up and running, but our subscription to Red Hat has expired so we have no support, which means I cant update software or acquire the dependencies needed for QIIME. There has been some talk of moving from the 454 to an Illumina platform, but that could be years in the future.
I guess my question is should we renew our RHEL subscription, or move to a different Linux distribution? Wed like to be able to provide as much bioinformatics to our clients as possible, as painlessly as possible, and not have to worry about this for a long time.
Thank you!!
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:07 AM   #2
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Location: Columbia, MO

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CentOS ( is the effectively the same thing as RHEL. It doesn't come with support, but it is free.
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:09 AM   #3
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However, if you don't have a Linux expert on hand, it may be worth paying RHEL for support. That's a decision you'll have to make.
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:13 AM   #4
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The disadvantage of switching from RHEL is that AFAIK that and Fedora are the only distros supported by Roche. I generally steer clear of Fedora as it's lifespans are typically short (new versions every 6 months and package maintenance for about a year)

If you do move away, the best ones to go for is either CentOS or Ubuntu but initial set up may be more complicated than it is than the push-button installs in RHEL/Fedora.
Having said that, there are walkthroughs for install on non supported distos;
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:32 AM   #5
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Have you checked around to see if there is a campus license for RedHat available (if you are at an academic campus that is a possibility) that you could take advantage of?

I may get flamed for saying this but if you have no in house expertise on linux administration (and have managed to keep your server afloat/secure so far with RHEL) then the path of least resistance would be to bite the bullet and buy the RHEL maintenance. Fully justifiable, if Roche is your main (only?) business.

If you do manage to install Roche software on an unsupported OS, any time there is a problem Roche tech support would likely throw up their hands and say that you are on your own.
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:35 AM   #6
Location: Virginia

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There's only about two and a half years left with 454 support anyway (mid-2016). Seems to me that buying into RHEL for another year or two to support this platform during its phase out is kicking the can down the road, but then again we do sequencing with the sequencers we have, not the sequencers we might wish to have at some point in the future...or something like that.
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