[Rpm-maint] alternative package

Michael Schroeder mls at suse.de
Mon Jun 27 09:16:27 UTC 2011

On Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 04:25:33PM -0700, Gene Hightower wrote:
> I would like to make a package that is an alternative to a plain old
> distribution supplied package.
> I would like to be able to install this alternative package to replace
> the original, but be able to switch back to the original package
> replacing the alternative at some future time.
> The "obsoletes" attribute ~would~ work for this purpose, if I was not
> prevented from re-installing the original package later: i.e. if
> obsoletes didn't turn into a hard "conflicts" type relationship.
> Is there any way to do this with the current feature set of RPM?

Why would that we a feature for rpm? It sounds more like the job
for the layer above rpm (i.e. yum et al) to insert an erase
transaction element.

My understanding is that "Obsoletes" have a "is newer/better"
property, thus telling the package manager that it should select
the package if the obsoleted package is installed. Thus you
normally use it for package renames.

For real alternatives you would go with a simple "Conflicts", and
relay on the package manager to deinstall the other package.


Michael Schroeder                                   mls at suse.de
SUSE LINUX Products GmbH,  GF Jeff Hawn, HRB 16746 AG Nuernberg

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