Package Management

Steven Clark webmaster at
Thu Jul 6 23:07:26 PDT 2000

> The Problem:
> Files all over...  unmanaged, unassociated...

True, this does hurt but in a way it forces me to learn more about the app
since I have to follow the files it installs....
> The Solution:
> Something like an RPM or DEB package management system... (from scratch of course)
> WHY?
> It would ease upgrading -  Especially when new versions make files that were installed previously obsolete..
> It would allow easier uninstall - So you dont have to track down every single file...  Binaries, Libraries, etc...

My Solution:

While mine isn't as elegant as Gerards is, I have taken this approach to the
problem and so far it has worked nicely *except for a few darn tars that don't
obey the make prefix=place install rule ;(

1) All system software is installed in the normal places IE, /usr/bin /bin blah
blah blah

2) Before I actually make install the compiled package I run the command 
make prefix=/tmp/install install 
I then CD into the directory and do an 
ls -lR > /usr/local/file-lists/package-ver.txt 

3) All optional software I install IE gnome goes into the /opt/Gnome dir but
with the same style package listings.

This way if ever I come across a file that I have no idea where it came from I
can just grep the files in the file-lists directory and it tells me which
package the file belongs to. 

I also use these files to compare if all the old files will be overwritten if
ever I do an upgrade of the package. 

As I said before the system isn't perfect as some programs ( rare though ) don't
follow the make prefix=/tmp/install install command but I just reconfigure the
package with the ./configure --prefix=/tmp/install command...

And yes I know this is a lot like what rpm does but I agree with Gerard's
statement about it feeling like I would be building a RedHat machine from
source if I did install rpm. Also this way forces me to install through tar
balls forcing me to learn more about how linux really works instead of taking
the *easy* ( sometimes not true ;) ) way of rpm installs. 


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