[Rpm-maint] splitting packages

Ales Kozumplik akozumpl at redhat.com
Mon Jun 30 13:52:22 UTC 2014

Hello people,

this is about [1], i.e. the fact that DNF currently doesn't support an 
upgrade path where a package is split into several new packages. It 
would be better suited for yum-devel but I'm posting it here since 
Michael doesn't read yum-devel.

There are two approaches to this out there that I know of: the Fedora 
way where N new packages obsolete the old package [2] [3]. When Yum sees 
this during 'yum upgrade' it installs all the N new pacakges and removes 
the old one. Note that the Fedora guidelines and even the Yum manual 
page are quite vague on the exact semantics of how splitting and 
renaming works. I'd be interested to find a better description somewhere.

There is a different convention used in SUSE [4] that employs a special 
'split-alias' provide. Michael said in the bugzilla this is not a 
desirable approach.

Before I try to come up with a proposal on fixing this, does somebody 
have a proposal at hand? Could supplements: or similar help? Are there 
reasons to move away from what Yum does (besides that using 'obsoletes:' 
is a bit random thing for it, i.e. I imagine it was more picked because 
it didn't break anything else in the RPM world than picked as a design 


[1] https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1107973
[3] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Packaging:Conflicts#Splitting_Packages

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