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DistroWatch.com: Is RPM Doomed?

Jun 17, 2002, 07:00 (87 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ladislav Bodnar)

[ Thanks to Ladislav Bodnar for this link. ]

"You have just found this great software on the Internet and off you go to download and install it. It's all free and GPL and, as luck would have it, the author provides a binary package in RPM format. It doesn't take long to download it, then you run the customary rpm -Uvh package-name.rpm command. OOPS! The installation fails, reporting a missing dependent package without which it will not install or function correctly. Off you go again to search the Internet for the missing library.

"Unfortunately, installing that missing library fails because of three other missing libraries and two other libraries that come in incorrect versions. Depending on how badly you want the original package, you have two choices - either go and search for all missing dependent libraries as well as all libraries dependent on the dependent libraries, or you just give up. How many times have you given up?

"If you are persistent and lucky, you might eventually install the RPM package. If you are persistent and not lucky, then you have probably acquired a few bumps from banging your head against the nearest wall in sheer desperation. RPM dependency hell can be a hugely frustrating experience--anything from circular dependencies (the catch 22 situation) to incorrect library version when there wouldn't be much left untouched had you really persisted in getting that badly wanted RPM installed..."

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