Alternate package implementation (how can I provide and conflict with the same package?)

Gene Hightower gene at
Wed Jun 15 02:45:14 UTC 2011

I would like to put an alternate implementation of a package into my
repository and be able to switch it in and out of use.

Lets say there is a standard package "foo" and I want to swap it out for
my own package "myfoo", but be able to swap back the original package
with ease.

If I say my package both provides "foo" and obsoletes "foo" I can
switch from "foo" to "myfoo" just fine.  My new "myfoo" package can be
installed replacing "foo".  But switching back is not as easy as
installing "foo" since "foo" is now obsolete.

I would like to have each package obsolete the other when it is

I have control over "myfoo" since I build it myself, but the "foo"
package is provided by another.

I want to replace one package with the other, but be able to switch
back with ease.

The alternatives (UPDATE-ALTERNATIVES(8)) system seems like a
nightmare of symlinks.  Not exactly what I'm after.

Playing tricks with version numbers seemed like a bad idea also.

I'm told this can be done with aptitude on Debian.

How would I do it with RPM / Yum?

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