rpm question

Jeff Johnson n3npq at mac.com
Wed Dec 17 16:41:13 UTC 2008

On Dec 17, 2008, at 7:31 AM, Tim Born wrote:

> You can create an RPM that just lists other RPMs as dependencies.
> When you install the first, all the rest will follow.
> Works slick.  The spec file is trivial.

Sure an empty package that carries Requires: to other
packages works slick. This is (more or less) the analogue
of a Debian task package. It has also been used by
DSV's (distro software vendors) to hide system
dependencies underneath a package that contains
only a single
	Provides: LSB
as dictated by LSB packing policies in order to satisfy
LSB conformance.

But there are still some minor flaws with a
task package approach. First of all, a task
package is mostly useless after its been installed,
there is no content within the package. There
is already an RFE for "melting" packages,
i.e. packages that are not registered, are solely
used to carry dependency information) at
And there is also a proposed solution that is irrelevant on <rpm-list at rpm.org 
 >, per-moderator.

But there's a deeper flaw using "task packages" instead of "package  
an immense amount of depsolver overhead is also needed, and there is
the additional need for more Requires: dependencies in the task package,
bloating repository metadata representations, and otherwise leading
to an increased number of packages.

A "package bundle" done correctly has this major advantage over a  
"task package":
	Its simple. everything needed is contained within the "package bundle"

If done correctly (my private ideas, irrelevant to <rpm-list at rpm.org>  
per moderator), then
there is also a reduction in the number of dependencies that need to  
be carried
around in repository metadata. All Requires: dependencies that are  
satisfied within
a "package bundle" need not be exposed in the "package bundle" wrapper.


73 de Jeff

> best,
> -tm
> John Frazier wrote:
>> I would like to build an rpm that does nothing but install other  
>> rpms.
>> My idea is that I can use this rpm to manage and track groups of rpms
>> that have been installed on our systems. Is this just crazy or is it
>> feasible. I look forward to hearing from you any alternate ideas  
>> would
>> be greatly appreciated as well.
>> Best Regards,
>> John Frazier
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