RPM 5.1 released

April 14th, 2008 by Ralf S. Engelschall

RPM Package Manager (RPM) version 5.1.0 was released today. RPM 5.1 is the second major release of RPM 5 and incorporates over 300 distinguished fixes and improvements which were made since the release of RPM 5.0 in January 2008.

Most notably, RPM 5.1.0 provides many additional macro and Lua scripting functionality (UUID generation, path resolution, text-processing, etc), supports initial path-to-repository expansions on the command line (“+N-V-R.A”), provides additional output format specifiers on querying (“:sqlescape”, “:utf8″, “:cdata”, etc), provides an RPM 4 compatibility C API, and additionally ships with new utilities (“rpmdigest”, “rpmgrep”, etc) and many more.


As I was the release engineer for RPM 5.1, during its development RPM 5.1 was compiled by me on as many compiler and operating system combinations as possible, of course. Hence, RPM 5.1 can be considered the most portable RPM since ever. Additionally, during its beta period, I have in-depth tested RPM 5.1 by building, installing and running OpenPKG CURRENT under both multiple BSD and Linux platforms. Hence, I finally consider RPM 5.1 to be fully stable and ready for production by distribution vendors. At least the new OpenPKG will be released soon and will be one of the first software distributions which are entirely based on the brand-new RPM 5.

7 Responses to “RPM 5.1 released”

  1. Suso Banderas says:

    Great, now write a book about it. This isn’t directed specifically at you Ralf (although I’d love it if you did write a book about it), but there is a real lack of information about RPM. Everytime I ask, I’m refered (HTTP spelling) to Maximum RPM (which I’ve read through), but that book was written back in the 90s for RPM 2. Its seriously out of date. There are many new fields, directives and features of RPM that I see used in specfiles, but I can’t find any good information on what they mean.

    Someone please! I’ve thought about doing it myself, but I think someone who is closer to the development team should be responsible for it.

  2. Ralf S. Engelschall says:

    Suso: you’re right, I fully agree: the lack of up-to-date documentation is RPM’s greatest problem. And with all the new RPM 5 features it became even more worst than it ever was before. But when I would write another book (the first one I wrote was about Apache) I certainly would write a book about the combination of RPM 5 (the packaging tool) and OpenPKG (the packaging facility around the tool). A plain RPM 5 book someone else would have to write… ;-)

  3. devzero2000 says:

    Hmm. I agreed with you but Jeff
    doesn’t, do you know…….

  4. Ralf S. Engelschall says:

    devzero2000: You mean Jeff doesn’t think documentation is missing? Well, perhaps from his personal perspective this might be correct (he knows RPM inside-out). Sure, most things are documented somewhere, but it is had to locate this documentation. And he certainly will agree that lots of new RPM 5 features are hard to determine by the average RPM user because of the lack of single-place consistent and up-to-date documentation. So, I think there is a strong need for something like an RPM handbook…

  5. Suso Banderas says:

    Or perhaps the nature of packages (used by many, developed by few) doesn’t support the economics of making a book. Perhaps what is needed is a good wiki. rpmwiki.com exists, but isn’t used much and doesn’t have any information about specfiles, etc. I think rpmwiki.com is only trying to approach it from a user perspective.

  6. Jeff Johnson says:

    Re: comment 4: I said that the rate of adoption of rpm-5.1 is independent of the existence (or not) of documentation. That’s a very different statement than “Documentation is not missing.” or “Documentation is not needed.”

    There is a wiki already at http://rpm5.info.

  7. devzero2000 says:

    Ok, well. I am writing an introduttory article on rpm5 and the story……

    I tell you when .

    In the meantime i like to pubblish some material on rpm5.info. With some
    help, i am sure…….

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