Activity packaging

pbrobinson at pbrobinson at
Wed Aug 4 15:06:34 EDT 2010

On Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 6:50 PM, John Gilmore <gnu at> wrote:
>> I think you are missing an important requirement: installation without
>> elevated permissions.
> Enhancing deb or rpm to be able to do this would be a win all around.
> A nonroot install would install under one's home directory, if either
> the package was marked as tested for homedir installation, or the user
> provided an override.  The underlying OS would have to ship user PATH
> and LD_LIBRARY_PATH defaults to include $HOME/bin and $HOME/lib.  A
> package database would exist under $HOME as well.  Read-only access to
> the global package database would allow the local package to check
> dependencies, etc.  It may be useful to define a standard programming
> convention for a package to readily find its control files and data
> files (either in /etc and /usr/lib, or in $HOME/.something, etc).
> Ideally it should be possible to ask that a package be installed under
> any particular directory, allowing users to install several different
> versions of a package and run them from different places.  This would
> let users run multiple applications which depend on particular
> versions of another package (e.g. python), while allowing the system
> default to be upgraded to the latest (incompatible) version.

rpm can already do that. It can relocate the package install location.

> I'd argue for adding this to deb, partly because Fedora at one point
> indicated a willingness to move from rpm/yum to deb/apt whenever
> "someone does the work", whereas Debian and Ubuntu seem satisfied with
> deb and apt.  But that would be a longer road for OLPC and other
> existing Fedora users.

I very much doubt that would ever happen.

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