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    RPM's and DEB's to merge?
    Contributed by drone0709 on Monday, May 21 @ 16:52:15 BST

    Most of you will have never heard of Nerdfest Linux, which is a beta linux distro being created to fit the needs of its creators.

    Nerdfest is being created using RPM's and whilst gruling the geeks over their decision to use RPM's they said that their decision was based on the fact that within 2 years they see RPM's and DEB's somehow merging into one common packaging format.

    Is this likely to happen? Do RPM's have any technical advantages over DEB's? Whats the future likely to hold for both of these formats?

    Netsnipe (22May01): We asked Wichert Akkerman (the previous DPL) about DEB and RPM merging due to the LSB in an interview earlier this year, and he commented that it was mainly the "twisting [of] reality here in that nobody is going to be the one and only packaging format...Basically LSB at the moment has two task forces: one is working on a least common denominator package format...The other approach is a completely new package format which we have been working on awhile now..."

    Well worth reading if you want to know more about the work on dpkgv2 and the LSB which sets the record straight.

    Note from drone0709: The geeks would like to point out that by using RPM's they are helping to comply with the Linux Standards Base, specifially this point here. The geeks also admit that there is not much chance of the the merger hapening within their time frame.

    Please don't flame these guys (or me) with emails or nothing :), why not pop into #nerdfest on openprojects irc for a chat with them.

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  • "RPM's and DEB's to merge?" | Login/Create Account | 16 comments

    The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

    Re: RPM's and DEB's to merge? (Score: 2, Insighful)
    by kezdeth on Monday, May 21 @ 17:23:55 BST
    (User Info)

    Actually, I think this project sounds interesting and I wish these folks luck.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: RPM's and DEB's to merge? (Score: 3, Interesting)
    by Anonymous on Tuesday, May 22 @ 11:27:06 BST

    It is beyond interesting! It is imperative! Two years is way too long. If Linux wants the Desktop market then some basic standards have to be put into place. One of these is package management. Personally I use Debian. If you've ever tried to install KDE with RPM's then you probably know why .deb kicks ass.

    But there's really more here then meets the eye. With Microsoft's next Windows release, WinXP, they have overcome .dll hell. What does this mean? No more library conflicts! Multiple versions of .dll files can exist at the same time. Linux needs to incorporate this type of capability as well, if they want to continue to challange M$. Right now its a trade off. Linux is cheap and reliable. But assuredly Microsoft will do it damdest to erode any advantage Linux has. Linux must keep pace and even surpass Windows in innovations. While I love what KDE and Gnome have done for the Linux desktop, they haven't done much more then imitate Big Bill. Can't we do better?

    [ Reply ]

    Re: RPM's and DEB's to merge? (Score: 0, Informative)
    by Anonymous on Wednesday, May 23 @ 01:31:42 BST

    the thing is: Linux doesn't want anything. who wants? the market, and the market is chosing rpm.

    as for installing kde from rpm i guess you never installed debs with dpkg. bottom line: apt is great, but that doesn't mean deb's are better than rpm's. get apt for rpm to know what i'm talking about (

    (i'm not saying rpm is better or worst than dpkg).

    as for library conflicts: *nix has always been able to have multiple versions of a library installed on your system. so, what's the problem: only debian and linux-mandrake split libraries into a smart package name.

    for example, gal-0.8 is not distributed as gal-0.8-x.arch.rpm or gal_0.8-1.deb under these distributions, it's a package called libgal7 (because it provides

    overall, this is not a big issue because:

    deb-based distributions solve this, as mentioned;

    rpm-based distros can have multiple versions of a package of the same name installed, as long as there's no file conflict.

    as for kde and gnome imitating rather than innovating, i'm sure both projects are interested to hear suggestions from you. please file them as a wishlist in their bugs database.

    thank you,


    [ Reply ]

    Re: RPM's and DEB's to merge? (Score: 5, Interesting)
    by Anonymous on Monday, May 21 @ 17:58:14 BST

    It will be good to see a consolidation in the Linux distribution market - but more important than package format IMHO is package naming. With LSB v1.0 we can finally hope to see files going to standard places - and for trivial niggles such as man pages and docs going to /usr/man and /usr/doc instead of /usr/share/man and /usr/share/doc - but package naming is still not standardised. Red Hat seems to favour large comprehensive packages (gnome-games, gnome-utils etc.) while Debian tends to split packages into multiple fine-grained ones, and normally the libraries are always made available separately (really neat if you need to run kMail but doesn't want the rest of KDE, say, or want Sodipodi but not the rest of GNOME).

    With some programs currently still lacking Debian packaging scripts it would be nice to be able to seamlessly integrate alienised RPM packages into a Debian-based system. Is this not what LSB is all about, interoperability?

    Just my 1p,


    [ Reply ]

    Re: RPM's and DEB's to merge? (Score: 2, Redundant)
    by Anonymous on Tuesday, May 22 @ 08:10:15 BST

    The FHS states documentation should be put under /usr/share not /usr.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: RPM's and DEB's to merge? (Score: 1, Interesting)
    by Anonymous on Tuesday, May 22 @ 21:23:24 BST

    Red Hat seems to favour large comprehensive packages (gnome-games, gnome-utils etc.) while Debian tends to split packages into multiple fine-grained ones

    Actually, debian is starting to adopt the task-* packages, so that if you want all of gnome you'd do "apt-get install task-gnome-desktop" and if you wanted just say, kmail, you'd do "apt-get install kmail".

    [ Reply ]

    Re: RPM's and DEB's to merge? (Score: 1, Redundant)
    by Anonymous on Monday, May 21 @ 19:19:53 BST

    Personally, I don't really care what the format (.rpm, .deb, .???) is, as long as apt works. ^_^

    [ Reply ]

    Check your links (Score: 2, Informative)
    by Anonymous on Monday, May 21 @ 19:25:04 BST

    Please correct the link to Nerdfest. htpp?

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Check your links (Score: 2, Informative)
    by drone0709 on Monday, May 21 @ 19:27:37 BST
    (User Info)

    sorry for that, i did check them but it got changed as i updated the article, i will bitch to the DP staff so they fix it.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: Check your links (Score: 2, Informative)
    by drone0709 on Monday, May 21 @ 20:06:43 BST
    (User Info)

    The link is now fixed plus a spelling mistake (thanks to robster for the fix and dazman for the spelling)

    I blame the UK government for my lack of spelling ability and personally I like my spelling of the word technical "techinical" is much better, buts that's another rant. 🙂

    [ Reply ]

    Re: RPM's and DEB's to merge? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Monday, May 21 @ 20:04:06 BST

    Are there any current projects in Debian to address this?

    [ Reply ]

    Re: RPM's and DEB's to merge? (Score: 4, Interesting)
    by Anonymous on Tuesday, May 22 @ 02:11:21 BST

    Does anyone have any info on the internals of the RPM package format?

    Debs are simply 2 .tar.gz's in an ar file - which is very handy if you get stuck with libc library problems and dpkg won't work ... with a statically linked busybox (busybox-static package) you can still get and unpack a working libc .deb ...

    I know that rpm's use cpio (or some derivative of it - you need to use rpm2cpio to convert to `pure' cpio), but does anyone know where there is any info on the internals? The main issue I have with creating a `common' packaging format is that it might be possible to lose this simplicity of .debs ... ar and tar are also much better tools to be using than cpio, IMHO ...

    [ Reply ]

    Re: URL about RPM's file format (Score: 2, Informative)
    by Anonymous on Tuesday, May 22 @ 17:41:20 BST

    [ Reply ]

    Re: RPM's and DEB's to merge? (Score: 1, Redundant)
    by Anonymous on Tuesday, May 22 @ 02:23:31 BST

    RPM's and DEB's are completely different. If either one of these package managers have to change the most it will be RPM. Personally, I wouldn't want to be in on the re-write. It would be easier to make RPM distros use debs.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: RPM's and DEB's to merge? (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, May 24 @ 18:20:56 BST

    Doing this will increase the user count. Hopefully also establishing a bridge over an obstacle many commercial companies complain about. RPM and DEB both have their own advantages. Honestly, I think the project needs more support. I respect projects which try to make changes for the good. I really dislike to be limited because of pride. (I hate Red Hat mentality). Good applications are being downfalled because of it. (pine and soundconfig). Oh and Nerdfest owns. That is all.

    [ Reply ]

    Re: RPM's and DEB's to merge? (Score: 1)
    by drone0709 on Thursday, May 24 @ 20:21:25 BST
    (User Info)

    I would just like to point out that the above comment was made by one of the nerdfest main beta testers(dabeej) - so it might not be the most objective view of nerdfest ever!

    None the less its a interesting project, but I'm sticking with debian and testing

    [ Reply ]

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