RPM gets a makeover

Ah, my dear RPM. You have been mistreated and ignored for too long. The time has come to dust you off, and give you some worming tablets and chuck you in some sheep dip.

In my frequent debate with Ubuntu/Debian fanboys I always make the one concession that I wish Fedora had apt and deb for package distribution. YUM and RPM simply don’t cut it. I have had some experience with rolling RPM’s and it wasn’t pretty. Poor documentation and shifting goalposts combined with what I would term a legacy package management utility lead to much frustration. The maintainer for RPM left Red Hat a while back and it has had little attention since.

Now it appears that instead of ditching RPM and YUM altogether, an attempt will be made to rally round and try and sort things out. This is a pity. Despite Suse and Mandriva also using RPM, software distribution on the Linux platform needs sorting out sooner rather than later. New users are now usually asked to choose between compiling from source, downloading an RPM or downloading a deb, dependent on which distro they have started using. If you’re lucky there is a version compatible with theirs. Luckier still is one that is compatible with their distro version.

Autopackage is a brave attempt to solve the problem however the maintainer seems to lack any kind of diplomacy and in a project that must unite, it continues to divide. What is needed is a unified distribution system and I believe for one that the Fedora project should put its muscle into this rather than an overhaul of RPM.


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