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Linux Journal: View from the Trenches: Alternative Package Sources

Oct 17, 2003, 12:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Glenn Stone)

"A couple of anonymous suggestions in response to last week's article inspired this week's installment of View from the Trenches. I had downloaded GAIM, the multiprotocol GTK instant messaging client and compiled it from source. This was a rather painful process, given all the -devel packages I had to chase down and install. One commenter suggested I try the usr local bin site to get pre-packaged GTK goodies for SuSE. I had no idea such a site existed, and I thought it would be a good idea to share not only this particular site but a number of sites that are helpful for finding Linux packages that aren't in the standard distribution.

"I'll start with SuSE, as we've already touched on one site. In addition to usr local bin, which primarily offers GNOME/GTK stuff, we have PackMan, which has a number of packages ranging from games to MySQL drivers. Some of these appear to be a bit out of date, but there are a lot of them. As with a lot of SuSE stuff, some of this site is in German. You should be able to figure out things by the package names themselves, but if you get stuck, Babelfish can help translate. A number of multimedia-oriented packages are hosted on bytesex.org, including bttv, krecord, video4linux patches and documentation and linda, a client-server approach to a headless MP3 jukebox.

"If you're dealing with SuSE, you're dealing with RPMs, and that brings me to one of the bigger cross-platform RPM sites, Rpmfind.net. This Daniel Veillard project is hosted by the World Wide Web Consortium, with several mirror sites. Rpmfind has packages for almost everything you can think of for distributions ranging from ASP to Yellow Dog, both official and unofficial versions, as well as GNOME, KDE, Ximian, MySQL and blinux (Linux for the blind; it involves a kernel module, a serial port and a speech synthesizer, and it works quite well)..."

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