RFC: GDBM or Berkeley DB?

Archaic archaic at linuxfromscratch.org
Mon Dec 26 19:48:05 PST 2005

In order to make LFS usable in UTF-8 locales, and different man program
was chosen, man-DB. That program requires a database backend. It can
support GDBM or Berkeley DB. I'll list what I think are the pros of

1) Small
2) Easier to install
3) No external dependencies

1) More widely used as a DB backend

Now, by count it would seem that GDBM clearly wins. However, I'm
thinking more about the total system. Berkeley has to be installed in
many scenarios and so the smaller size of GDBM is negated by the fact
that BDB and GDBM would ultimately be installed.

Below is a list of dependencies where one or the other, but not both,
are listed according to the BLFS book:

basicnet/netlibs/wvstreams.xml * Optional
gnome/otherlibs/gnome-libs.xml * Required
gnome/otherlibs/gconf1.xml     * Optional
kde/devel/kdesdk.xml           * Recommended
kde/add/kdeaddons.xml          * Optional
postlfs/security/linux-pam.xml * Optional
server/mail/postfix.xml        * Required
server/mail/sendmail.xml       * Required
xsoft/suites/openoffice.xml    * Optional

basicnet/netprogs/cvs.xml  * Optional
general/prog/librep.xml    * Required
gnome/core/libgtop.xml     * Optional
server/mail/qpopper.xml    * Optional

Clearly, when only one can be used, BDB is the one most used.
Ultimately, it's going to come down to a reader's decision. More
experienced users can make the call themselves. LFS should choose one or
the other, but by what criteria should that choice be made? I lean
towards BDB, but that may be unduly influenced by my needs.

Please comment on this thread with your choice and the reasoning for
your choice.


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