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Old 06-08-2004, 02:38 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2004
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What is the difference between RPMs and source files?

Currently I have installed either binaries or from source and understand the difference between the two (compiled machine-specific code vs. high level, human-readable code made by the developers). However, I do not understand the use of RPMs as I have never used them. Are they somehow "in between" binaries and source code in specific-ness? Is it something that can be more easily uninstalled than an installation from source. I've done some searching on the subject but it's still a little unclear to me. Thanks in advance.

Edit: Does the "PM" in RPM stand for package management? If so that clears things up a bit.

Last edited by macskeeball; 06-08-2004 at 03:07 AM.
Old 06-08-2004, 03:08 AM   #2
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RPMs are packages of binary files. When you install an RPM, the binary files are placed in the correct file locations. Also, the RPM database remember that you installed it and it is possible to uninstall it.

Source files are not binary files. They are really a bunch of code files that need to be compiled into binary files. When you get an archive of source files .tar.gz they must be compiled into binaries and then manually copied into the correct place.

Usually, a make file is included with the source code to compile and install the files for you. If these aren't there, it makes it harder but this is not oftent the case.

Probably not the best way to explain it, but I hope that helps somewhat.
Old 06-08-2004, 03:14 AM   #3
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RPM is basically a package manager. So what it does is (quoting manpage) build, install, query , verify, update and erase individual software packages. Even I couldnt have said it better
So it just makes ur life easier, and what is more you have a lot of options for e.g one option allows you to update the existing package!! Its just a tool to do your installation for you.
As always checkout man rpm !!
Old 06-08-2004, 03:39 AM   #4
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RPM = Redhat Package Manager, but the system has baan adapted to other distros like SuSE and Mandrake.
I run SuSE 9.0 and when I click on an RPM in Konquerer it tells me what it is, what's inside and where each file will be placed + offers to start YAST (installation manager) to install it for me.


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