Chapter 13 again ...

Shaya Potter spotter at
Tue Jul 18 05:39:34 PDT 2000

On Tue, 18 Jul 2000, Theodore Y. Ts'o wrote:

>    Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 02:38:30 -0400 (EDT)
>    From: Shaya Potter <spotter at>
>    > Sigh, OK.  So let's go over this, one more time.....
>    > 
>    > 1) The reality is that RPM is the de-facto standard.  Just about all
>    >     modern distributions support RPM files; even Debian can read RPM
>    >     files, using the Alien package.  (Slackware doesn't, but it's so
>    >     backwards in so many other areas that it wouldn't be LSB compliant
>    >     for all sorts of other reasons; in fact, some would claim that it
>    >     hardly qualifies as a "modern distribution.")
>    Ted, I'm no slackware lover, but you don't have to get into attacking
>    slackware.  Some people like it, and that's good enough.  In reality,
>    Alien works on slackware just like Alien works on Red Hat and Debian.  It
>    lets you install a foriegn package with the package manager that is native
>    to that distribution.  One might argue on the merit of slackware's native
>    "package manager", but slackware users could just as easily install LSB
>    packages as Debian users could (or Red Hat users could install DEBs if
>    they had Alien installed)
> It is good to know that alien work with Slackware ---- although I'm
> surprised.  I thought alien worked by actually transforming an RPM
> package file to a dpkg package, and then using dpkg to install the dpkg
> file.  I didn't think alien was flexible enough to be an arbtriary
> package translator, that also handled slackware "packages".

Not just slackware, stampede's .slp too.

to quote it's homepage
"Alien is a program that converts between the rpm, dpkg, stampede slp, and
slackware tgz file formats. If you want to use a package from another
distribution than the one you have installed on your system, you can use
alien to convert it to your preferred package format and install it."

An advantage of this, is that someone can give you a .tar.gz, you can
"alien'ify" it for your native package manager, install it through that
package manager, and then easily remove it later.  So, even if a ISV ships
you a package that is LSB compliant, but is a tar.gz, you can use alien to
LSBify it a bit more. 

spotter at   spotter at   spotter at

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