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LinuxPlanet: .comment: Something for Everybody II

Apr 19, 2001, 13:00 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis E. Powell)

"Amazing. Just amazing."

"Yesterday I wrote about the need for a unified package handler for Linux that would not just reconcile RPM, DEB, and TGZ packages but would include in the database of installed applications (along with dependencies and the like) those things you build yourself from source."

"Konstantin Malakhanov must have had his note pre-written, so quick was he to email a response to my plea. He clued me in on something called "CheckInstall." It is the coolest utility I've ever seen. If you run Slackware or any RPM-based distribution and if you ever compile your own applications, libraries, anything, it is a must-have, a really essential application." "What does it do? Well, I can tell you some things, but I bet that I leave a lot out, because when I think I've figured out everything important about this deceptively small utility (the source download is less than 60k), I happen upon something even neater that it also does. In my explorations so far, I've learned that it:

  • Tracks the activities of "make install" and enters the package you've built in your Slackware tarball or RPM-based distribution RPM database.
  • Makes your choice of a binary tarball or RPM of whatever it is you've just built.
  • Includes in the binary package docs, license, and everything else, not just the binaries themselves.
  • Allows for a clean uninstall, because you can use your distribution's regular package uninstall command to get rid of it.
  • Allows for a really clean uninstall, because it backs up anything that was changed when you installed the new package you compiled."
"Indeed, when you compile it -- and it is the easiest compile since "Hello, World" -- it makes a tarball or RPM of itself!"

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