tarballs and rpm's

Derek Broughton news at pointerstop.ca
Sun Jan 20 21:22:09 UTC 2008

thomas fisher wrote:

> On Saturday 19 January 2008 13:21:21 Derek Broughton wrote:
>> John B. Pace wrote:
>> > I'm looking for assistance to dealing with tarballs and rpm's. I
>> > haven't been around linux in some 10 years and at 54 my memory is quite
>> > fuzzy. Actually the last time around I had a lot of difficulties until
>> > I had to give up. Not this time. I've got a lot figured out, but have
>> > more, of course--like those tar.gz and rpm files. How does one install
>> > them?
>> Generally, one doesn't.  You try to get .deb packages.  If you _have_ to
>> install an rpm, you should use "alien" to convert it to a deb package
>> first.  If it's a tarball, you just untar it, and do "./configure; make;
>> sudo make install" in the unpacked directory.  Of course, it fails if you
>> don't have all your dependencies installed...  primarily you will need to
>> install the "build-essentials" package.
>   Does  "alien" that is part of the ubuntu release perform a thorough
>   check
> that the dependencies of the .rpm are met and ensure that the ubuntu
> packages are not compromised?

I don't think it does _anything_ thoroughly.  afaik, it just makes a best
guess attempt to map the components of the rpm to equivalent components of
a debian package, and then installs it.  It's definitely
a "use-at-your-own-risk" solution.  As is installing from a tarball
(despite the advice of one of the "experts" on the Plone newsgroups who's
trying to convince me that it's safer to install tarballs than Ubuntu

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