Why so inefficient source RPM's ??

Why so inefficient source RPM's ??

Post by Chris Butl » Fri, 20 Aug 1999 04:00:00

[comp.os.linux.development.system - 18 Aug 1999 17:44:42 -0400]
  * Johan wrote *

Quote:> what if the builder doesn't offer a patch.  you want to roll up a new
> rpm from the newer sources and wish to borrow from past rpm spec
> files.  you have to download the source twice.  it's annoying.

Not wanting to start dist-wars here, but Debian handles this a bit

With debian source archives you have:


The .dsc file contains information about the package, a lot of it taken
from the debian/control file (a bit like the top part of a spec file, it
would seem), and a list of the other files in the source archive, with
size and md5sum information. The .dsc is PGP-signed by the maintainer.

The .orig.tar.gz contains the upstream source. None of the
debian-specific modifications in there.

Finally, the .diff.gz contains all of the debian changes from the
upstream source. This includes the debian/ directory, holding all the
information necessary to create a .deb package. It may also contain
patches to the source to conform with Debian policy, or to fix important
bugs until the upstream contains the fix.

If you have downloaded the source from the upstream maintainer
seperatly, all you need to download is the .diff.gz (and the .dsc if you
want to check the .diff.gz's authenticity). It's usually just a matter
of patching the source with this .diff, and compiling a debian package
as normal.

Chris Butler


1. Why so inefficient source RPM's ??

Coming from FreeBSD, I'm used to the ports system. It is a bit like a
source RPM: you have an original tarball, patches, build instructions
and a file list. This is handled automatically, then packaged and

But, when someone does a minor adjustment to the port, you don't have
to download again the whole (sometimes very large) original source,
only the update patch or build instructions, usually very small and
thus it is very easy and efficient to stay current (even more so
because of the excellent cvs/cvsup system).

With source RPM's, it seems you have to re-download the whole thing
(sometimes huge RPM's such as gcc) for every minor tweak.

Am I missing something? Is there a place where Redhat (or contrib)
source RPM's are located in unpacked form so that I can update without
downloading the whole original source over and over again?


Peter Mutsaers |  Abcoude (Utrecht), | Trust me, I know

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