RPM vs DEB vs Slackware-like tgz

Dan Nicholson dbn.lists at gmail.com
Mon May 19 18:36:37 PDT 2008

On Sun, May 18, 2008 at 6:54 PM, Gerard Beekmans
<gerard at linuxfromscratch.org> wrote:
> Dan, you have done a lot of work with RPM spec files for LFS. Is there
> anything you wish to add to what Alexander said back then and your own
> reply to it?

Alexander may have said this, but one thing to keep in mind is that
once you start writing RPM specs, you really want to start using the
macros that come with RPM (or that you write yourself). For example,
for any bog standard autotooled package:


Looks simple enough: it runs ./configure for you. However, there's a
lot of extra arguments passed such as setting --prefix to the default
compiled in %_prefix value (usually /usr) and passing --host and
--build to set the architecture you want. It also exports the CFLAGS
as configured in the macros.

This is great for consistency when you're doing everything in RPM. For
LFS, though, this could cause inconsistencies between the RPM and
non-RPM instructions. You can take the approach that macro usage will
be minimized, but then you lose some of the power of RPM.

All in all, though, I think it could work. There is a lot of power
that comes out of the box with RPM (e.g., it will glean requirements
for the binaries automatically). You'd need to be careful that the
PM'd versions of the packages don't stray from the regular commands
too much. But I don't think that thought is constrained to RPM. For
the case of RPM, I think you'd want to "cripple" it a bit until all
the issues are ironed out. But it should be pretty easy to do that in
the global configuration.


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