[lfs-support] Package management

DJ Lucas dj at linuxfromscratch.org
Sun Mar 25 22:02:02 PDT 2012

On 03/25/2012 10:04 PM, Eleanore Boyd wrote:
> Has anyone thought of this: when you download a package, store it in the
> sources folder used for building the system, and organize it to personal
> preferences and tastes? That way, if you need to reinstall a package,
> you still have the tarball it was installed from, and you can see your
> installed packages quickly and easily according to your preferred
> organization without relying on somewhat arbitrary definitions of the
> appropriate categories of other people.
> It seems like a good idea to me, anyway. And no, I don't really have a
> better way of explaining it, as I would lose my life if it depended on
> me explaining why I shouldn't be dead. Or am I giving out the idea on
> the wrong list? This is the second email I've sent in the same day, and
> I normally don't send emails..........
> Elly

In the day of multi-terabyte drives, I would think it unlikely that any 
of us delete the source archives after they are installed. Unless you 
keep the instructions as well, I would hardly call it package 
management, and even that is a stretch for me, but your distro, your 
rules. :-) It's all about personal choice, and if that is sufficient for 
you, great!

As for me, I do things a couple of different ways depending on the goal 
of the system. On my desktops, I use a pair of custom scripts, something 
similar to the install-log method, it goes a bit further to aid in book 
development (download, check MD5, touch all files after extraction, log 
the instructions used and the build output, determine SBU and disk 
usage, flag modified files, etc.). It's a little outdated, and has been 
in a constant state of flux for the past several years. I break it from 
time to time, but it has served me well because it was written and 
molded over time into my perfect idea of management for a development 
system. I simply don't see a purpose for archiving everything on a 
development system...should I trash it, I either fix it manually, or 
start over.

On my servers, save for one outstanding that is in the process of being 
replaced (which  I am absolutely afraid to touch), everything is 
installed to DESTDIR (or equivalent) and packaged up as a tar.bz2 (guess 
I should probably use xz now) and then manually installed from there, 
along with something similar to, but not as verbose, as above. When I 
update a package, the original binaries are kept indefinitely. I've even 
once delved into RPM, wrote a bunch of helper scripts to make it easier, 
but in the end, it was just a bit too unintuitive (??) for my taste.

-- DJ Lucas

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