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Old 12-02-2009, 10:14 AM   #1
mmacferrin
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Question Is there a package manager that doesn't required root access?


I have a user account (/home/[username]) on a Redhat 5.4 server, no root permissions. I'm trying to get a computation-heavy Python program running on there that requires a few Python extension libraries (NumPy, PyImaging and Delny-0.2.0, specifically). I knew the server's Python 2.4 installation didn't have those libraries, so I figured I'd start installing what I needed under my home directory (~/.local/) and running stuff from there. I started by installing Python 2.6.4 there and aliasing my "python" command and "PATH" variables to there.

Not having permissions to run a package manager ("yum" on that machine), I had to compile/install this stuff into my home directory manually, and it didn't take long before I wallowed in dependency hell. Python 2.6.4 was installed, although several of the module extensions (such as Tkinter) didn't install due to missing library dependencies. PyImaging (aka "PIL") requires the Tcl/Tk libraries, which require Tkinter, which requires linking to the X11 libraries (the server has X11 installed, but none of the build headers or developer libraries), which requires all kinds of crap that I was up until 3am last night trying to figure out. [Makefile-shudders] When I was halfway through a broken build of the entire gcc-g++ compiler framework (just to get the X11 libraries built), I knew I was down the wrong path here. A full day doing that makes me appreciate the built-in dependency tracking & installation of a good package manager.

Anyway, back to my question: Is there any type of Package Manager (simple or otherwise) I can install & run on Redhat 5.4 meeting these requirements?
  • It can install stuff to other directories besides root ('/')... namely, my home directory, but still read from "root" for needed dependencies.
  • It can be installed and run without root privileges? I understand it would break if I tried (w/out root permissions) to install stuff under '/', but installing stuff under '/home/[user]' it could work with my user permissions.

Any help there would be appreciated. Any manager I've seen always requires root permissions just to start up. I don't have such permissions, and I won't.

Or conversely (this could help too) if there's any way for me to acquire and/or link to the X11 Developer libraries without having to build & install the entire framework locally, that'd be awesome.

Thanks a million!

- Mike

Last edited by mmacferrin; 12-02-2009 at 10:19 AM. Reason: doofed-up grammar
 
Old 12-02-2009, 10:56 AM   #2
pljvaldez
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The only things I'm aware of are things like autopackage, klik, or zero install. Not sure if any of these will have prebuilt packages for things you're looking for.

Or is there a way you could talk to whoever manages the machine and does have root access? Maybe they would be willing to install some stuff for you.
 
Old 12-02-2009, 04:43 PM   #3
mmacferrin
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Thanks pljvaldez. Zero Install looks like a good option, if I can get it to install (it doesn't zero-install itself, unfortunately, and has a lot of dependencies that may be as difficult to get installed as the stuff I'm doing right now). However, it may be worth a shot.

I doubt I can get stuff installed on this machine (it was something of a favor just to get a user account in the first place), but I'm looking around, and I think I may have access to another server that might do even better for me (a 32-processor quad-core batch server) and I know the owner well, so it might be easier for me to go that route instead of wallowing in the package-install-hell I'm dealing with currently.

Anyhoo, thanks a bunch for the suggestions... I appreciate that. I just need to find one of 'em that has the Python Image Library packaged in it... the other two dependencies I think I can resolve/install much more easily. I was kinda hoping someone might have an idea that I hadn't thought of yet, but maybe that's not in the works.

- Mike
 
Old 12-02-2009, 06:06 PM   #4
lazlow
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Assuming you the new machine has RHEL on it too: There are a ton of system packages that depend on python. So you still will not be able to replace python (system wide) without breaking the install.

Most of the things that you build against in a RH based system requires the -devel version of the package to be installed as well as the package itself.
 
Old 12-03-2009, 05:17 AM   #5
DrLove73
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Best course of action would be running a form of virtualized machine running Fedora. Server would be stable and you would be able to do what ever you need.
 
Old 12-03-2009, 08:13 AM   #6
mmacferrin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazlow View Post
Assuming you the new machine has RHEL on it too: There are a ton of system packages that depend on python. So you still will not be able to replace python (system wide) without breaking the install.

Most of the things that you build against in a RH based system requires the -devel version of the package to be installed as well as the package itself.
Yeah, I wouldn't need to replace Python system-wide in the new system (I don't particularly need Py 2.6 or anything), I just need a couple of the extension libraries available. I don't see how that'd break the install. I realize the -devel stuff is needed... that's why (for instance) I was having such trouble linking to X11 on the system... I couldn't figure out how to separately install (in my home directory) the -devel package for it, if that's even possible.
 
Old 12-03-2009, 08:18 AM   #7
mmacferrin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrLove73 View Post
Best course of action would be running a form of virtualized machine running Fedora. Server would be stable and you would be able to do what ever you need.
Good idea... is there any way I could get that running without VMWare or xen-tools (or otherwise) on the server already? Besides the software the server was installed to run (it's a server in a Geography dep't, used for geographic image-processing and analysis software), it doesn't have a helluva lot on there. I'll check, but I don't think either of those packages is there.
 
Old 12-03-2009, 04:31 PM   #8
DrLove73
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There is also KVM that is meant to be part of the kernel. I have some kvm packages version 84 and 85 in my repository, but with new kernel I would not recommend it. I installed it while on 2.6.18-92.x kernel (around there) and 2.6.18-164.x does not like it. kvm 36, part of the base/os repository (I think) should also work.

Administrator will have to learn and install hipervizor, and create virtual machine and give you access rights, but you will not be able to install it by your self. Good thing is once virtual hipervizor is set, they will be able to use it them self for ever purpose, like testing new packages or similar without touching host machine. They would just destroy your machine when you are done and create one,two,three for them when they decide they need it.
 
  


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