Way back in 2018, Fedora 28 had introduced EPEL 8 modules, which allowed one to install multiple versions of the same software and switch between them, making them modular. For example, one might need to keep switching between a nodejs 8.x, 10.x and 12.x based on the software requirement, or even switching between a Python 2 and Python 3 as many of the ealier softwares are not yet compatible with Python 3.
Fedora being the upstream distro to Redhat (and CentOS, before it became CentOS Stream and became a mid-stream distro), was facing the same problem like any other open source software of either being too aggressive in releases or too slow to release. While the package the user wants may be available, it might not be available in the version needed.
So the way Fedora modularity would solve the problem was by shipping with the standard versions of the software, and while at it, you would have the flexibility to install the Fedora Modular Repos to get the stable EPEL versions of the softwares.
However, over the years, the EPEL 8 repo seems to have hardly any takers. The strange mixture of Fedora ecosystem and RHEL modularity never worked properly. There have been routine instances of modules that wouldn’t install, modules that overwrote RHEL modules, Fedora maintainers surprised their modules were in EPEL, and the constant issue that EPEL modules couldn’t depend on RHEL modules.
Thus drawing a conclusion to this experiment. Both CentOS Stream as well as Fedora have officially announced that the modular EPEL 8 will be retiring in a phasely manner and below is the timeline for the same…
- October 31, 2022
- An updated epel-release will be pushed to the epel8 repo
- This sets “enabled = 0” for epel-modular, if you haven’t already changed your config
- epel-modular full name will have “DEPRECATED” in it
- February 15, 2023
- The infrastructure for building and publishing epel8 modules will be removed
- The EPEL 8 modules will be archived and removed
- The mirror manager will be pointed to the archive
It is now no longer recommended to install or access the EPEL 8 modular repo after 31st October 2022.