[lsb-discuss] Packaging

Theodore Tso tytso at mit.edu
Wed Oct 25 19:46:26 PDT 2006


On Mon, Oct 23, 2006 at 10:35:55PM -0700, Leibowitz, Michael wrote:
> Can I make an LSB compliant PAM module?  PAM isn't specified, so I guess
> I need to bundle PAM.  I could probably get away with not doing this
> because ABI compatibility is generally easier for plugins.  Now, I need
> to use my bundled version of PAM.  That means manipulating a bunch of
> files that are not in my /opt/vendor/foobar directory.  If I understand
> correctly, the LSB answer is that it is now the sysadmin's job to make
> it work, and LSB cannot permit the package to automatically manipulate
> the system.

Actually, PAM is specified in the LSB.  What isn't specified is how to
manipulate the various files in /etc/pam.d, and the reality is that
the layout of those files are different across different
distributions.  Worse yet, depending on what's in the file, it's hard
to know exactly in what order to insert a particular pam module in the
middle of a file like /etc/pam.d/login. 

If we want to fix this, it's going to be painful, because the
distributions have already diverged on what's in /etc/pam.d.  But that
means ISV's that want to provide pam modules and have them be
automatically configured are suffering already today, so maybe that's
a worthy project for us to consider.

> What if I wanted to make a package that had a GIS data-set for a
> particular GIS suite?  I'm prohibited from my packages having a
> dependency on something that I don't provide.  My packages will install
> without warning, but will not alert the user/admin that they are
> worthless without the GIS software?  What if the GIS software has a file
> format change in between versions?  Without a dependency, I can't even
> alert the user/admin that this package will not work with that version
> of the GIS software.

Yes, that is a problem to be solved, but again, we really have to be
very careful about embarking on research efforts, especially if the
benefits are relatively small.  Installing the GIS data-set without
the GIS software isn't necessarily a problem (just a waste of space).
As far as data format changes, hopefully the files themselves include
a data format marker, or there is a file format marker in the
top-level directory of the GIS data.  Realistically, this is the much
saner solution anyway, particularly if the ISV is interested in making
the software useful on other non-Linux platforms, like AIX or Solaris.  

						- Ted




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