[Rpm-maint] hidden rpm ownership of links

David Mathog mathog at caltech.edu
Thu Jul 5 21:24:33 UTC 2007

An issue regarding RPM came up in the Mandriva list, and somebody
suggested I bring it to the attention of the RPM developers.  That
thread is here:


In case that link wraps and breaks, the main issue is this:  
rpm packages are creating links to links to files, and the first link
and the second link are not known to the RPM system via, for instance:

 rpm -q --whatprovides /usr/bin/cdrecord

Similarly, it has been claimed that installation scripts can create
entire files (not links to files) which are also not known to RPM.  This
struck me as incomplete - if the RPM package creates a file, no matter
how it creates it, then the RPM system should be able to verify
that fact.  I can see how the filename might in some instances not
be known ahead of time, but couldn't rpm implement a function
something like:

 rpm --pkg $PACKAGENAME --provides /usr/bin/cdrecord

so that when scripts do create links or files they have a mechanism
to enter this information?

As long as I'm writing to this list, I've also wondered if there
isn't another way to find which packages B,C,D require package A
besides doing:

 rpm -e --test A

It seemed that this should be in the -q group, something like:

 rpm -q --requirespkg libjpeg

(the package, not a particular file), but I've never figured out
how to do it like that.


David Mathog
mathog at caltech.edu
Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech

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