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Old 03-28-2004, 07:00 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: IA-MO State Line
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04
Posts: 59

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Upgrading Software by Building new RPM's

Here's the description: I find some software I like, but wanting the cutting edge, I go to the home site and find that since someone wrote the RPM, the software has been upgraded at least once. AND no one has written a new RPM. OK, so why don't I do it?

From what I've read, the key to doing this is the SPEC file. I've never written one of these from scratch--haven't even plagiarized one yet. But I'm looking for an easy way to do this. I don't know of any method in which I could "dissect" the SPEC file of a given package, so I'm thinking that this is the way I must go:[list=1][*]Download the SRPM--foobar-1.0.srpm, for example.[*]Install it <rpm -ivh foobar-1.0.srpm>[*]Download and untar the upgraded source file <tar -xzvf>[*]configure foobar-2.3[*]Compare the results of the configuration to the file list in the SPEC file and make any changes necessary[*]Remove the foobar-1.0 source from the build directory and insert the foobar-2.3 source (or copy the SPEC file as one for foobar-2.3 and insert the foobar-2.3 source into the SOURCE directory)[*]Build the RPM[/list=1] This seems reasonable to me. If there are problems with this approach, I would appreciiate it if someone would identify them. Additionally, I haven't found any documentation on "easy" ways to build RPM's that just upgrade software. If someone knows of any, I would appreciate knowing where it is.

Before anyone says, "Why don't you just install from the source?" let me say that this is my ultimate goal. I want to wean myself of commercial distributions and I am currently running Mandrake 9.2. I have discovered that sometimes new software "acts hinky" if I just install it. I want to make sure I get all the headers and whatnot, and if I compare my linux experience to child development, I have just learned to roll over.

Let me thank anyone in advance for commenting on my approach, making recommendations or pointing me to some new documentation.
Old 03-28-2004, 07:09 AM   #2
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Jinhua, People's Republic of China
Distribution: MDK, RH, KNPX
Posts: 161

Rep: Reputation: 30
From the Linux RPM HOWTO:

6. Building RPMs

Building RPMs is fairly easy to do, especially if you can get the
software you are trying to package to build on its own.

The basic procedure to build an RPM is as follows:

Make sure your /etc/rpmrc is setup for your system.

Get the source code you are building the RPM for to build on your

Make a patch of any changes you had to make to the sources to get
them to build properly.

Make a spec file for the package.

Make sure everything is in its proper place.

Build the package using RPM.

Under normal operation, RPM builds both binary and source packages.

I downloaded the HOWTO's some time ago in a tarball and I don't really remember where I got them... Sorry.

Of course, there are HOWTO's and a good description of the process at :

Good luck!
Old 03-28-2004, 07:13 AM   #3
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Jinhua, People's Republic of China
Distribution: MDK, RH, KNPX
Posts: 161

Rep: Reputation: 30
Oh yes, I see it clearly now... Take a look at:


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