[lfs-support] Package management

Eleanore Boyd cara117 at cox.net
Sun Mar 25 22:20:34 PDT 2012

On 3/26/2012 12:02 AM, DJ Lucas wrote:
> 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 It's a little outdated, and has been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
Okay, that's great. I should have put this in earlier, but the basic 
idea is that the package sources are the list of packages you have & can 
repair if needed. To be realistic, you could just as easily make a text 
file or spreadsheet with all of the installed packages listed in it, 
then organize it accordingly. Keeping the sources simply helps in case 
something breaks, or if the computer loses its internet connection. If 
the network the computer is connected to loses internet access, then 
someone hasn't been paying their bills, obviously...

It also seems to me that you've never used the most common GUI package 
manager there is, synaptic. Quite literally, it can be a pain in the 
&*^$#@ if you don't pay attention to what it's doing. It also relies on 
whichever package installer is available on the system, and is therefore 
almost nothing more than a pretty, hard to use wrapper window 
application that hides what the system is doing.

As a side-note, the kernel hates me.


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