sean finney on 15 Jan 2006 09:22:13 -0000

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Re: [PLUG] RPM builder

hi doug,

On Fri, Jan 13, 2006 at 02:15:16PM -0500, Doug Crompton wrote:
> I have a question for which I think there may be no definitive
> answer...but here goes.... When you build an RPM on a particuliar system
> where can it safetly be installed? Certainly on the same system... but

depends on what the rpm contains, really.  it's the same question as
"is it safe to untar a tarball and then run some scripts on this system",
as that's what you're effectively doing.

in the case of using checkinstall or similar to make an rpm of your home
directory, it's perfectly safe to install anywhere, with the proviso
that you (a) have root access and (b) don't mind clobbering your
home directory on the other machines.

> what if you upgraded the kernel on that system? or installed it on another

the only rpms this would effect would be rpms that depend on a specific
kernel version (like a modules rpm or perhaps some kind of profiler), afaik.

> 'like' system that had been configured in a different way? Are there any

well, if it had been configured to have /home in a non-standard
directory, that might be a problem.  also (and this is a result of
me not being very familiar with the tools in question), you may
get wierd results if your account does not exist or exists with
a different uid on the other target systems.

> rules on this? Can you damage a system by installing a 'wrong' rpm or are
> there safety checks for this?

oh, you can definitely muck up a system by installing a 'wrong' rpm.  go
back to the rephrased 'tarball' question for some ideas to start with.
worse, it's complicated more by the fact that one rpm can mess up
the installation of other rpms via the dependency system, getting you
stuck in a really nasty place to be.  this "dependency hell" is quite
common on redhat/rpm-based distros, though to say it's unique to them
is not really being fair i guess[1].


[1] you can similarly muck up a debian system, though i'd posit that 
    recovering from such a situation isn't as difficult.

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