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Old 12-16-2003, 09:46 AM   #1
chri5
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Package standards?


As a new linux user I've tried a few distro's (suse, mandrake, red hat) and I cant help wondering why each distro has it's own packages?

Why not bring some standardisation to linux?

Why not agree on a standard package system and use the same packages for all the distro's?

My knowledge of linux is very limited so please excuse if this makes no sense!

Cheers.
 
Old 12-16-2003, 09:59 AM   #2
dingding66
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It makes perfect sense. People have been saying that for quite some time. Then again it's all about choice and that's what you get with all those different packaging systems. Lots of choice. I remember when I first switched over from window$. I couldn't help but think to myself 'why are there 15 different filemanagers to choose from? Why are there 20 different window managers? I was fine with one file manager and one windowing system. Now I'm glad there are because I have the ability to choose that which I personally like best. Myself, I like RPMs because that's what I started with, and I like the dependancy solving of apt... I get both with urpmi on Mandrake. Others like building everything from source. It's just a matter of preference, I suppose.
 
Old 12-16-2003, 10:42 AM   #3
brundles
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Talking of RPMs...

Possibly a stupid question, but something about RPMs I saw the other day confused me...

I was under the impression that provided the distro included support for RPMs, you could download pretty much any processor compatible RPM and install it (assuming dependencies are met of course!). A site I saw the other day (the web page that has the wlan-ng RPMs) kept talking about them being built against the RedHat distro. Will these be specific to RedHat, or can I still use these RPMs (as I have done with others) on me SuSe install?

Thanks!
 
Old 12-16-2003, 11:14 AM   #4
dingding66
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Kinda depends on the package and the distro. I've had to use a RedHat rpm every once in a while with Mandrake and it's been kind of hit and miss. Different distros put software in different places. One may have kde in /usr while another has it in /opt, for example, and a package may not work because it can't find files it needs. At least that's how I understand it. I've just gotten in the habit of compiling from source if it's not available as an RPM and haven't had to use another distro's rpm in quite some time.
 
Old 12-16-2003, 02:28 PM   #5
brundles
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That pretty much tells me what I was afraid of. Time to learn how to re-compile the kernel...
 
Old 12-16-2003, 04:49 PM   #6
boreo
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Quote:
Originally posted by brundles
That pretty much tells me what I was afraid of. Time to learn how to re-compile the kernel...
You do not need to learn to "re-compile the kernel" to install packages.. You just have to compile the packages.. Not your kernel.... When you untar the program you want to install take at a look at the installation guide.. They will tell you how to install it from source.
 
Old 12-17-2003, 03:39 AM   #7
chri5
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Quote:
Originally posted by dingding66
It makes perfect sense. People have been saying that for quite some time. Then again it's all about choice and that's what you get with all those different packaging systems. Lots of choice.
But with all that choice, progress slows down?
I'm talking about a single standard of package system.
Yes still have lots of packages that do the same thing so the choice remains, but keep to 1 packaging system?

I have to admit linux has been an uphill struggle to get the most simple things working for me, but I would prefer to use it over windows.
 
Old 12-17-2003, 05:05 AM   #8
dingding66
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you could find 100 people who say that standardized packages is the best way to go... you could find 100 people that say it's not. I really do know where you're coming from, believe me. It'd be pretty darn nice to have a single binary package that would install on any system.
The fact remains though, when you have so many independant distros that's just not something that's likely to happen. See what I'm saying? If there was just one "linux distro" out there, i'm sure this is what you'd see, but who wants to be limited to one distro?
I wouldn't say that it's slowing progress down. It's just that not every distro packages everything the same because the way that the distro is developed, to the developers, the packaging system chosen works best for that distro.
Then again, some consolidation has happened. You don't see stampede packages anymore (or very rarely) for example. Some package formats are for very few distros (how many distros use portage installation? Anything other than Gentoo? Not to knock Gentoo... it's a great distro. How many distros use "cast" other than Source Mage? See where I'm going?). It's pretty much gotten down to RPM and deb for the most part. As linux matures I'm sure we'll see more of this. Even Window$ doesn't install every program the same way and that's on a single "distribution." (install shield, ace, winzip, etc.)
The problem comes when someone tries to decide what the "best" standard is. Me, I'd say it was RPM. A debian user'd say it was .deb. A Slackware user'd say it's .tgz. Some would tell you that installing from source is best because yout can make it fit your system. It gets to the point of 500 people trying to decide which was the best color... green, blue, red, or purple.
If there were multiple windows "distros" like there are GNU/Linux distros I'm sure the same thing would happen. It's just that there aren't.
Don't get me wrong here. Standards are nice things to have and are very important. It's just that compared to something like M$, which has been around a long time (and a monopoly at that), this is all still maturing. LSB's helped some and other things will help in the future.
Hope this helps to clarify what I was trying to say.
 
Old 12-17-2003, 08:30 AM   #9
chri5
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Yeah I see, I guess Linux does need more time to mature.
I've worked in IT for a long time (windows only unfortunately) and after all the bad experiences I've had administering winNT I would love to see linux become more widely used and new user friendly.
 
Old 12-17-2003, 12:46 PM   #10
mikshaw
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Quote:
Originally posted by dingding66
Even Window$ doesn't install every program the same way and that's on a single "distribution." (install shield, ace, winzip, etc.)
That's a very good point, and true...There are multiple installers, and some do not work on some versions of windows (*.msi for example), but this issue is raised much more often with Linux for some reason.

Personally I don't care one way or another if packages are standardized, as long as I can still install from source.
 
  


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