[lug] a bit tired of updates

Ralf Mattes rm at ns.aura.de
Wed Oct 27 10:46:27 MDT 1999

On Wed, 27 Oct 1999, Pedersen, Michael J wrote:

> > -----Original Message-----
> > RPMs use the 'cpio' archive format. The reason for the name 'alien'
> > is that it converts packages from foreign environments to be used
> > locally. In fact, 'alien' also converts (rather poorly) from DEB
> > to RPM. What is perceived to be "alien" often depends on one's
> > perspective. (Yes, 'alien' was originally written to convert RPM
> > to DEB, but is has transcended its roots.)
> Ah, that is something I didn't know.  Thank you VERY much.  I'll admit to
> having some poor research into exactly what RPM is, but I did know that it
> wasn't .tar.gz, which is what a fair number of people do want (I know that I
> prefer it, simply because I know it better).

Well, -deb files are NOT tar files ... They are actually .ar files, and
i don't see why ar-format would be better known than tar or cpio. Only
within the ar-file you can find tar-gz archives of the actuall packet
contents and the controlling data.

> > RPMs do indeed have pre-install and post-install scripts, and many
> > make good use of them. With many more RPMs available than DEBs, it
> > is quite natural to find more poorly packaged RPMs. Sad, but true.
> > However, the .specs are out there and package maintainers are
> > usually quite happy to take patches.
> Well, here's where the MAJOR difference comes in: Debian post-install
> scripts tend to ask questions.  Sometimes, they ask a LOT of them.
> Sometimes, they make people think that just jumping out a 40th floor window
> is preferable to answering another question (during an initial install :).
> Anyway, I've never seen an RPM ask a single question about configuring
> itself.  Despite their sometimes overuse on Debian, I prefer to have that
> done upfront, rather than reconfigure afterwards.

Hmm, the absoltute majority of debian packets install without a question.
Only some of the 'big' packets have a configuration script (which is BTW
independent from the postinstall script. You can (re)configure packets with
'dpkg --configure glumpf').

> > And, again, RPM is cpio format and can have the components extracted
> > just as easily as a tar file.
> Once you know what the format is, yes, just as easy.  Without knowing it,
> though, it's noticeably more confusing (as evidenced by my previous post).

Where is the difference? You only need to know the internal format
if you want to NOT use the packet manager. I doubt i would ever want
to unpack a .deb file to install its components by hand (of course
i often repack .deb files, but i use .deb format for software distribution).

> > > DEB files simply include some extra files to allow Debian's 
> > package manager
> > > to figure out how to install a program.
> > 
> > Both DEB and RPM have very similar facilities from a package
> > management and dependancy checking standpoint. Most of the
> > differences that you will find relate directly to the skill
> > of the package maintainer.



|                                     |                             |==
| Ralf Mattes                         | rm at schauinsland.com         |==
| Programming, Administration         | rm at ns.aura.de               |==
|                                     |                             |==

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