Over the last couple of years, the GNU/Linux user community
has been divided and constrained by "packaging systems" that give
users the file installation tracking that they want, but require them
to install all of their software in a particular distributor's package
format if they do not want to break the software tracking system.
There is really no need for users to pay such a high price for
For this reason, we at Yggdrasil are working on a system that
puts some of the common functionality of file tracking systems in a
common software layer and can track installation of files by any
method, provided that the software that implements it is linked
against the standard shared GNU C library. This is done by trapping
the system calls that modify files. This way, we can track
installation of files installed by rpm, debian dpkg, stampede, tar
files, or even doing "make install" from a source tree.
Under this scheme, the Red Hat tools would be aware of all of
the rpm components installed on the system, the Debian tools would be
aware of all of the dpkg components installed on the system, and our
tools would be aware of everything. This would be a big step forward
for GNU/Linux users, but, clearly, it would be even better if all of
the tools could see all of the software. Efforts in this direction
with regard to the current RPM central database format have led to a
separate program with a very simple interface that will probably be of
general use to current RPM users. So, we are releasing a test version
of this separate program in its current form, in the hopes of getting
good technical advice and contributed improvements.
Well, here it is:
With this program, you can modify your RPM database to
reflect unpacking and installation of, say, a tar format program,
by doing something like:
tar xfpvz frobnicator-5.3.bin.tar.gz | \
modify_rpmdb --name=frobnicator --version=5.3 --mode=replace
There is a manual page, and "modify_rpmdb --help" will show you
the command syntax.
Please note that this software is in an incomplete, flakey,
experimental form. Back up the relevant parts of your system, including
your RPM database, before experimenting with this program.
If you are interested in the larger file installation tracking
system, a snapshot of that work in progress, currently separate from
modify_rpmdb, is available from
this main part of the software is more complex, and is probably only
of interest if you want to study the code.
Anyhow, discussion of this design in this newsgroup, and any
other technical contributions would be welcome.
Adam J. Richter __ ______________ 4880 Stevens Creek Blvd, Suite 205
+1 408 261-6630 | g g d r a s i l United States of America
fax +1 408 261-6631 "Free Software For The Rest Of Us."