structure of ALFS

Gerard Beekmans gerard at
Fri Feb 9 06:07:23 PST 2001

> no the words were the ones for XML package management and
> tarballs, rpms, dpkgs, and those sorta things...

That one right. I missed an email, but found it now.

Ok. The short form was: rpm == rpm...dpkg == dpkg...alfs == rpm == dkpg == 
whatever you want it to be.

What I meant with that is that if you have system, say Redhat and Mandrake, 
that uses RPM for it's package management, than RPM is all it can use. You 
will have a heck of a time to install an RPM package on a non-RPM machine 
like Debian where the dependencies are different.

The same goes when you have a DPKG based system like Debian. It'll be hard to 
install a deb package on Redhat (I'm not saying it's impossible - there are 
utils like alien that can deal with such things).

ALFS will have a package management system as well. The biggest difference 
would be that ALFS would (mainly) compile from source and not install 
pre-compiled packages (like rpm&deb). It will keep a database with dependency 
information as most package managers do. Now, if you need to for some reason, 
you can tell the ALFS package manager to "go into RPM mode". It would read 
it's own database and construct an RPM database. You could then tell ALFS to 
install a RPM package and it should run smoothly including all dependcy 
checks that come with RPM files. The same would go for DPKG packages and 
other kinds of packages.

In your profile you would insert a tag or two in the appropriate <package> 
tag stating that we're dealing with an rpm file rather than a tarball and 
that's all you would have to worry about.

How is this different from programs like alien? Alien doesn't do any 
dependency checks or installs packages. It only converts one package to 
another (say rpm to tar.gz so you can access it easier). Perhaps it does more 
these days, I'm not sure about that one. We're not being revolutionair here 
with ALFS package management system. We're just doing things easier. A lot 
easier. You could put ALFS on a redhat machine and ideally replace the RPM 
system with ALFS and everything would still work just as well as it used to. 
Or go to any other system.

You can make it as easy as the following. You enter the following tag 

There, now all you do will be done via rpm. Want to switch from RPM to 
something else in an instant? Change the tag, the alfs tool(s) will do the 

Exactl details aren't known yet. We haven't entered the package management 
stage yet. This was an idea that came up a day or two ago. It's mostly in 
'brainstorm' phase. I hope, though, that you understood the message?
Gerard Beekmans

-*- If Linux doesn't have the solution, you have the wrong problem -*-

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