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Fedora May Finally Drop Delta RPMs

Fedora is considering dropping delta RPM support.

Delta RPMs are a precursor of the past that allowed downloading the binary difference between the currently installed RPM packages and the updated ones.

Back then, most people had very slow-metered internet connections that would take ages to complete such simple tasks. That is where these came in.

As it turns out, in the current age of high-speed internet, they have lost all their charm and now serve as a liability rather than a utility.

Especially when Fedora Project Leader, Matthew Miller, raised a proposal earlier this week that might be among the final nails in the coffin for Delta RPMs.

Let's see what he has proposed.

What is happening?: In his proposal, Matthew has said that support for Delta RPMs has very little end-user value; it used to have some real benefits and had the potential for more.

But at the end of the day, they have to move on.

He mentions the following:

But, I think it's time to move on. We have ostree and variouscontainer-delta approaches. We should focus on those — and give DeltaRPMs asad, fond farewell.

Most people in the replies seem to agree that Delta RPMs support should be dropped.

When can you expect this?: Matthew mentioned that he missed the Fedora 38 change deadline by a wide margin. So, he expects this change to arrive with Fedora 39 or later.

He also thinks that; they could stop producing Delta RPMs for current releases without affecting them much.

Either way, this proposal will have to go through the usual voting process by the Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo).

Until then, we can only wait and watch what happens. You can check the discussion around the proposal if you are curious.

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