RPM 5: untwisted & portable

July 25th, 2007 by Ralf S. Engelschall

After 6 heavy man-weeks of development and about 500 resulting RSE commits later we reached a point in our relaunched rpm5.org project, where RPM 5 is finally building out-of-the-box on a larger set of Unix flavors, including BSD, GNU/Linux, Solaris, AIX and MacOS X.

This was achieved by heavily untwisting the rather convoluted and evolved build environment of RPM, cleaning up many corners of the RPM code, nuking many obsolete hacks and workarounds and especially providing a development tool (devtool) which incorporates in its %standalone target larger chunks of the OpenPKG bootstrap package in order to allow RPM developers (fully independent of OpenPKG, of course) to easily build RPM on arbitrary Unix platforms despite the fact that RPM requires lots of development tools and third-party libraries — some even in particular latest versions.

I’m rather happy with the now achieved state of RPM 5 on rpm5.org’s CVS HEAD.

writing personal statement

Actually, it is IMHO the first time ever that RPM can be built rather easily and flexibly on an arbitrary Unix platform — and not just under Linux, where it was mainly developed during the last 10 years.

Additionally, with all this fundamental and generically reusable work on RPM (from which all software distributions based on RPM will benefit in the long-term) and additionally also porting our OpenPKG RPM 4.2.1 patchsets to RPM 5.0, we were now already able to upgrade our OpenPKG bootstrap package from the ancient RPM 4.2.1 to the latest RPM 5.0 snapshot. This work in the OpenPKG camp is still not released as RPM 5.0 is still not released, of course. Actually, RPM 5.0 is still in “alpha” status. But once RPM 5.0 reaches something like a “beta” or even “release” status, we will publically release an OpenPKG distribution entirely based on RPM 5.0 only.

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