r8826 - Recommendations

Randy McMurchy randy at linuxfromscratch.org
Wed Jan 19 14:09:12 PST 2011

Randy McMurchy wrote these words on 01/19/11 15:42 CST:
> I really don't think this is a good idea. Because for the other
> 400 packages in BLFS, one would think they do NOT support DESTDIR
> because it doesn't say it does. Almost EVERY package supports
> DESTDIR, we should be marking the ones that do NOT support it.

The more I think about it, I don't think we should mention the ones that
do. And here is why. DESTDIR doesn't work on some packages if you do not
run make install as root*. And if you are running it as root, nothing will
prevent a file being installed somewhere other than DESTDIR. You really
have to know what you are doing if you want a true DESTDIR installation.

* Some don't work if you are not the root user is because regular users
cannot set suid or guid if the program needs it (and it silently fails
in many cases), or give proper ownership to files that should belong to
a user created during the installation. In another case, GTK+-2 will not
install all files using DESTDIR because it runs a command at the end of
the installation that silently fails (creation of /etc/gtk-pixbuf.loaders
and /etc/gtk.immodules.

So bottom line is I think DESTDIR is something we should stay away from
due to the tremendous amount of work it would take to bring all the
packages in line, and figure out nuances of each one. In a destdir
installation, even root will not copy suid files or files owned by users
other than root properly unless you use cp --preserve=mode,ownership.

Oh yeah, there is that issue with /usr/share/dir. Do we really want to
get involved with explaining all these little weird things about DESTDIR?

Don't get me wrong, I use DESTDIR, and create a tarball of DESTDIR before
I install it, so I am really careful and an familiar with all the little
tricks that need to be done (Perl and the .packlist file for example).


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