[lug] a bit tired of updates

Pedersen, Michael J PederMJ at LOUISVILLE.STORTEK.COM
Wed Oct 27 11:07:32 MDT 1999

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ralf Mattes [mailto:rm at ns.aura.de]
> Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 1999 10:46 AM
> To: 'lug at lug.boulder.co.us'
> Subject: RE: [lug] a bit tired of updates
> On Wed, 27 Oct 1999, Pedersen, Michael J wrote:
> 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.

Well, at this point, I'm starting to have to wonder if my entire message was
invalid, and needs to be retracted.  Thank you, though, I do appreciate the

> 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').

Well, I should have known that, but for some reason never thought about it.
And you are right, the majority of them install, no questions asked.  But
enough of them insist on asking questions that it can drive a person crazy.
Especially when apt/dpkg can't find a way to ask all the questions first, or
last, but instead will install a bunch of packages, then come up to one that
asks questions, then a bunch more with no questions, etc.  I know, it's a
silly thing, but I do wish it did that.  It would be a LOT easier to handle
a major installation then.

> 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).

I have seen quite a few people who want to extract an rpm onto a Debian (or
other) system, and they have to either have alien, or know the format.
Having alien is considerably easier, but some would rather extract it by
hand. Plus, as was mentioned in another message, RPM is not a truly
universal format anymore.  An RPM made for Suse might not work on Mandrake
or on RedHat.  Being able to extract it by hand is a useful utility to have.

Debian doesn't have that issue (AFAIK) yet, but it could happen in the

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