I'm surprised no one has asked this before.

I'm setting up a new machine (so I can always wipe and reinstall if needed), and, after giving up on Fedora 24, am installing Centos 7.

When previously setting up machines (including my attempt to setup Fedora 24), I've noticed I'm almost always missing packages that I want and end up doing "yum install " many times.

This time, I'm trying "yum install '*'" to see what happens.

However, I'd also like some advice: is there something fundamentally wrong with this broad-stroke approach?

  • in the highly unlikely scenario that none of the packages conflict, yes, this is a terrible idea. – jayhendren Nov 25 '16 at 2:36
  • a better approach is to back up the list of packages installed on your system, or perhaps backup your package manager's database. this way you always have a list of software to install if you want to rebuild your system. – jayhendren Nov 25 '16 at 2:37

is there something fundamentally wrong with this broad-stroke approach?

Well, to point out some obvious things:

  • Packages can have conflicts. Maybe yum install '*' will pick out a non-conflicting set and let you install it, but how do you know it did the right thing? Maybe you will later want to use a package it didn't elect, and yum's output will be more confusing in that case than it would be otherwise.
  • It wastes bandwidth and disk space to install a bunch of software you will not even be aware of, let alone use.
  • It wastes even more bandwidth and disk space when you want to back up your system.
  • Some of the packages in the repository might introduce security vulnerabilities that wouldn't otherwise be present on your system.
  • Some of the less frequently used packages might even have viruses or other malware that nobody has noticed yet.
  • Some other things to consider: you might install drivers or kernel modules that are incompatible with your hardware, post-install scripts might start services that consume resources – jayhendren Nov 25 '16 at 2:35
  • Some other thing to consider: You will get a lot of updates for all this packages... – Tobias Nov 25 '16 at 5:56
  • @Christopher My point #4. – DepressedDaniel Nov 27 '16 at 0:55

OK, I've accepted @DepressedDaniel's answer, but will add some detail since I actually did it:

  • As others note, yum won't allow this, because it turns out some CentOS 7 packages conflict with each other! However, it recommended --ignore-broken or something and that helped.

  • Although I was using "yum -y", there were a couple of times yum STILL stopped me to confirm something. I believe I had to type in "yes", not just "y".

  • yum installed over 5000 packages, but it first says it's installing 3968, does so, and them prompts me as above. It then installs another 1141 or so. Not sure why that is.

  • Something called "cloud" something will complain vociferously about not having some resources it needs (perhaps a cloud account) and hold up the reboot process for several minutes.

  • Something comes up telling me I have to accept a license agreement to continue, and I think it's a RHEL trial or something.

  • I also get asked for my full-disk encryption password again, which shouldn't happen. I ignored the request and it went away.

  • Once I finally managed to login, I had hundreds of daemons running and errors all over console.

It would've been fun to poke around just to see what sorts of things were happening, but I gave up at that point and reinstalled.

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