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Re: Installing software without a package manager

Casey Boone <caseyboone@gmail.com> wrote:
> i am with koree on this one, it all depends upon what you are
> installing, there is a package for it, if you have that package
> installed, and how you install it from tarball

Well, there's a lot of grey area.  For example, it's always nice when
a RPM is part of a repository you trust for GPG verification.  Just
grabbing any RPM can be an issue in itself.

But always remember to consider two things:  

1.  Try "rpmbuild -tb" on a tarball _before_ building.  A _lot_ of
tarballs include RPM SPEC and DPKG meta-data, and this will save you

2.  Use "checkinstall" instead of "make install" to build a RPM/DPKG
for your distro.  It not only requires virtually _no_ additional
effort, but saves you a _lot_ of grief should you need to uninstall,
upgrade, etc...

Now #2 doesn't always work for everything.  But when it does, it
saves you not only a bit of grief -- but makes it easy to replicate
across multiple systems.

> i have set up boxes using fcX as a base (minimal install + yum
> update + developer tools) and then never use the packages again 
> except to update the kernel or to install some development lib.
> on these boxes all public facing services get built from source.

It's ironic that I was "raked over the coals" (on LUCI was it?) for
suggesting that minimalistic, source-built Gentoo servers have their
place in embedded or highly customized Internet servers.  I mean,
when it comes right down to it -- whether you use a distributed
source fetch-build tool or do it manually makes little difference. 
Especially when the "packages" distro might have dependencies you
don't need (let alone want to maintain).

In fact, I'm a huge proponent of using a "ports" approach inside of a
minimal "packages" distro when you are building a development system
or a highly customize system where the rest of the "packages" distro
would get in the way.  A select number of lesser-known RPM/DPKG
distros are starting to experiment with this, so I can't be alone.

> i suppose i could bother learning to properly build a .spec
> and make a proper .rpm but usually it isnt something important
> enough or popular enough to bother with that.

But if you're deploying on multiple systems, it does make a bit more
sense.  As I was eluding to in another e-mail, the effectiveness of
custom installation becomes inversely proportional to enterprise
configuration management as the number of systems goes up.

> while i agree that having 3rd party stuff installed can make
> debugging a problem harder, i dont submit bug requests when i am
> using a product out of spec either.

Agreed.  Too many people expect the Fedora community to deal with
issues that break down to either custom built and/or closed source
software.  While Red Hat does the latter under its SLAs for Red Hat
Enterprise Linux, NO ONE should expect the Fedora Community to do so.

-- Bryan

P.S.  Please don't flame me off-list for this.  Stop and recognize
what I'm trying to say -- which is _between_ many viewpoints of
others I've seen here.  E.g., I'm trying to make people aware of
things like "rpmbuild -tb" as well as "checkinstall."

Bryan J. Smith     Professional, Technical Annoyance
b.j.smith@ieee.org      http://thebs413.blogspot.com
*** Speed doesn't kill, difference in speed does ***

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