[linux-elitists] [RANT] Debian the Elitist Distribution?

Adam Sampson azz@us-lot.org
Tue Feb 17 01:19:57 PST 2004

Mike MacCana <mikem@cyber.com.au> writes:

> To qualify as an LSB distro, you must be able to unpack RPM v3 files
> - hence rpm is indeed 'unpackable by standard tools'

This isn't much help if you're trying to unpack an RPM on a non-Linux
system, though; the "rpm" tool's source is rather crufty and
non-portable, and the package format is a poorly-documented binary
mess. I eventually resorted to writing my own RPM parser last time I
needed to do this. (The "by orabidoo" rpm2cpio.pl that some distros
use won't unpack many version 4 RPMs. Some versions also suck all of
the RPM into memory before processing it, which is easy to fix but
worth bearing in mind if you're likely to be manipulating big RPMs.)

I'd imagine the code behind other packaging systems isn't necessarily
much better, but I didn't have to look at Debian's or Slackware's code
to figure out how to unpack their packages...

Adam Sampson <azz@us-lot.org>                        <http://offog.org/>

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