At its 10th anniversary and after a period of uncertainty for the RPM community, together with a new roadmap towards version 5.0 the project environment of the popular Unix software packaging tool RPM Package Manager was relaunched under the domain rpm5.org by the newly formed RPM project team, further on lead by RPM’s primary developer Jeff Johnson. The primary goals of RPM 5.0 are the additional support for the XML based archiving format XAR, an integrated package dependency resolver, further improved portability and extended cross-platform support. Note: Please note that rpm5 is a fork of the ‘real’ rpm project.
RPM Package Manager Relaunched on rpm5.org
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2007-05-30 10:41 amFooBarWidget
I was just about to predict that the first few posts will be about RPM dependency hell and how Debian rules.
When will you people learn the difference between a package format and a dependency resolver? They’re two different things, and are not mutually exclusive.
– .RPM is like Debian’s .DEB. It’s just a file format, and the standard package manager doesn’t do any dependency resolving.
– Debian’s APT is like RPM’s yum, or RPM’s APT (!). APT is a program, built on top of a packaging file format, and provides dependency resolving capabilities.
APT can be, and is, used in combination with RPM. See http://freshrpms.net/apt/
All modern RPM-based Linux distributions have a dependency resolver, similar to APT. For example, yum on Fedora, urpmi on Mandriva, etc. This has been the case for more than 3 years now.
RPM and DEB are technically very similar. Neither is really superior to the other. The only difference is that Debian repositories tend to be larger than RPM repositories, but that has got nothing to do with technical merits.
Edited 2007-05-30 10:42
2007-05-30 12:12 pmfsckit
I wish we could mod posts up past 5. Thank you for saving the rest of us some keystrokes by attempting to re-educate the Debian fanboys, yet again. You did forget one really big difference though. From a developer standpoint, rolling RPMs is trivial, DEBs however will drive some right to the brink of insanity.
2007-05-30 12:15 pmMark Williamson
I think that the dependency resolving work is a good thing and – thank you for that it’s not because RPM systems don’t have dependency resolution already!
IMHO the good thing about RPM5 including a dependency resolver is that it means all RPM-based distros will be able to share effort on a common dependency resolving core. Right now, Fedora / CentOS / RHEL are using Yum, Novell use … something …, Mandriva use urpmi. Some people choose to use apt-rpm, some people use smart.
Focussing on a common core lets everyone benefit from the same dependency engine, which seems like a much more civilised way to go about things even if everyone builds different frontends on top of this.
2007-05-30 3:26 pmAnonymous Penguin
All you say is very true and I wish I could mod you up even further.
But a problem remains, from my point of view: too many dependency resolver are being used.
That becomes particularly bad when you find half a dozen package managers in the same distro: openSUSE!
I love SUSE, but I had been a fan of apt4rpm almost from the beginning. They abandoned it (and it had always been a pariah anyway). This has left a sour taste in my mouth.
2007-05-30 10:53 amSoulbender
“It is because of RPM that I use linux distros with debian-based package management.”
Good thing apt and friends doesn’t handle dependencies, eh? Oh wait…
The RPM community is supposed to be on http://www.rpm.org, not http://www.rpm5.org.
This article is quite informative: http://lwn.net/Articles/196523/
As is this announcement:
This looks like something else.
2007-05-30 1:43 pmKnuckles
I too am puzzled by this. It seems that indeed http://www.rpm.org/ and http://www.rpm5.org/ are different teams, and the former seems not to be aware of the latter.
Does anyone know what’s up with this?
2007-05-30 2:01 pmbpepple
‘I too am puzzled by this. It seems that indeed http://www.rpm.org/ and http://www.rpm5.org/ are different teams, and the former seems not to be aware of the latter.’
This is a fork of rpm, by the former maintain of rpm.
2007-05-30 7:31 pmWemgadge
Jeff Johnson was the lead developer of RPM while he worked at Redhat. He left Redhat and in order to kickstart development in his absence, Redhat launched http://www.rpm.org/ to encourage continued development of the project by the wider open source community.
It appears that in response to this initiative, Jeff has launched http://www.rpm5.org/ to continue his work on RPM since it appears that since he left Redhat, his upstream contributions to the project have been largely ignored by the main Linux Distros. Basically it’s a fork.
2007-05-30 3:06 pmRockT
The lwn.net article casts a poor light on Mr. Johnson.
I got another impression; he was helpful and fast to respond e.g. here: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=186411
chance we’ll see RPM5.0 in F8 ?
2007-05-30 1:59 pmbpepple
No, this is a fork of rpm.
What a waste of resources and time. I been a Linux user for 9 years now, and what Linux needs is a single unified package management system. The contenders are apt-get, protage (modified for binaries), and autopackage (needs distro support). When will developers learn to give up on RPM and move on!
2007-05-30 1:36 pmMark Williamson
Don’t think that’s going to happen so long as people are paid to work on RPM 😉
I agree, would be nicer to have a unified package management system. Autopackage AFAIK isn’t really designed to replace RPM / APT / etc, but is intended to work alongside them.
To be honest, though, as far as I’m aware the features available in RPM-based and APT-based systems are pretty similar. All the systems have shortcomings, but arguably if the featuresets are similar there’s no particularly strong reason to drop one or the other. The fact RPM has apparently had less core development does count against it, I suppose.
Other interesting package managers are Klik (a bit like autopackage) and Conary (which, I understand, really is quite interesting).
Anyway….rpm has worked fine for me on rpm based distributions. Why would a debian person care if they don’t use RPM? I like the debian package system too. So what? They both work.
I do agree that a unified system across the board is desirable, but in the mean-time, a good package manager (with dependency resolution…ala apt or yum or yast or whatever) using either deb or rpm….or whatever…is fine. Why all of the fighting about this?
The rpm.org site is Red Hat’s site, which was recently re-opened (in a sense) for community development. rpm5.org is the development branch forked by the original RPM maintainer who wished to add many new features and such to RPM. Red Hat and other distros had staid on a rather old version of RPM for some time, even when newer 4.x releases were made available.
Looks like rpm6.org and rpm7.org have been registered by Jeff, but rpm8.org hasn’t. I wonder how long it will take for someone to register rpm8.org and put up a page saying “don’t put software version numbers in domain names, cos you’ll be cybersquatted on!”. Not that I condone that action (someone might just make rpm8.org redirect to rpm.org instead to annoy Jeff!).
For the past few years it was Jeff Johnson who was working on RPM. It was him who released few versions of the 4.4.x line.
What redhat did was to announce community around their ‘rpm’. I haven’t seen any single relase of redhat’s rpm since then.
So if you are talking about a fork, it is Redhat’s rpm.org, not jbj’s rpm5.org.
2007-06-04 12:25 pmgilboa
… While you may be right (and IMHO, you don’t), it doesn’t really matter.
Unless RedHat/SUSE/Manrdriva can be persuaded to switch from the older 4.4.x (rpm.org) tree to Jeff’s rpm5.org tree, rpm5.org will slowly die out – much like XFree86 did once X.org forked.
2007-06-05 7:30 amadamg
I see Mandriva uses rpm-4.4.6, which (correct me if I am wrong) was released by jbj. And they have jbj’s rpm in their cvs (at least on HEAD).
If rpm5.org shows that they are actively developing rpm, I think opensuse will eventually switch to rpm5.
Eventually we will end up having two rpms…
RPM is the least usable, package management system I have ever seen. Dependency hell is a terrible place to be. It is because of RPM that I use linux distros with debian-based package management.