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REVIEW: Fedora Tracker.

by Gavin Henry on March 28, 2004.

UPDATE 2004-04-16:
The URL for Fedora Tracker is now All URL's below are now updated.


Announced to the Fedora-devel mailing list on Wednesday 24th March, Fedora Tracker aims to be a comprehensive but easy to use index of Fedora apt/yum repositories on the internet used via a web browser.


If you have ever used things like, you will be kind of familiar with Fedora Tracker. The great thing about Tracker is that you can search for particular Repositories, Packages and even submit your own apt or yum repository, as long as it contributes to the Fedora Project.

It's simple to use, so I really don't need to explain it here. Just go to any of the pages mentioned above and give it a try!


It was developed by Brad Smith of Red Hat, his goal, as announced on the list is:


About six months ago, as the result of a conversation on IRC, I began
playing with the idea of a "tracker" for Fedora: Something to tie
together the many apt and yum repositories out there into a single,
simple to use framework. 

There is, of course, a great deal of software available for Fedora
outside of the core package set. But the question I kept running into
was "How do I figure out which repository, if any, has the package I'm
looking for, assuming I even know the name of the package in the first

None of the answers to this question that I'd come across were really
satisfactory. They either required me to already have a comprehensive
list of third-party repositories (synaptic) or were too general (google,
rpmfind, etc). So, partly to scratch this itch and partly to teach
myself Python, I started work on a tool for easily indexing and
searching Fedora repositories. 

As you can tell it is developed with Python, as a learning excerise, like most projects in our world. As with any Python project, the developer has the freedom to develop their ideas into reality with a very powerful, flexible and effective language.

Brad announced some improvements today:

New features of interest:

* Search results are sorted by repository type (core, extras, tp, etc)
* Package search defaults to simplified interface
* Source packages are filtered out by default to cut down on search

Among the other features I hope to add based on suggestions I've gotten
here is the ability to have search results display "condensed". That is,
just the name, description and a link to view details on all instances
of this package. I think that will make search results much more
readable but because it adds an extra pageload between initiating a
search and actually getting the package I'm reticent to make it the
default. It will probably be a checkbox option on the advanced search



I feel that this will become a very powerful and useful tool for the Fedora community, and will make using Fedora easier by allowing you to find packages you need quickly.

I think it would also allow other projects to develop, that could search the Tracker site, and build it into it's sources.list or just use the Tracker site and be able to find and offer the package you request.

Thank you Brad, and hopefully other people will start to give him a hand.

Why not join the Fedora-devel mailing list and send him your comments or offer your help? Just send a e-mail with Fedora Tracker in the title and I'm sure he will see it.

Well, that's it for now. For any comments or corrections, please e-mail me.