[Beowulf] A press release
tjrc at sanger.ac.uk
Wed Jul 2 01:45:21 PDT 2008
On 2 Jul 2008, at 6:06 am, Mark Hahn wrote:
>>> I was hoping for some discussion of concrete issues. for instance,
>>> I have the impression debian uses something other than sysvinit -
>>> does that work out well?
>> Debian uses standard sysvinit-style scripts in /etc/init.d, /etc/
>> rc0.d, ...
> thanks. I guess I was assuming that mainstream debian was like
It's sort of the other way around. Remember that Ubuntu is based off
a six-monthly snapshot of Debian's testing track, which is why Hardy
looks a lot more like the upcoming Debian Lenny than it does like
> interesting - I wonder why. the main difference would be that the
> rpm format encodes dependencies...
The difficulty is that many ISVs tend to do a fairly terrible job of
packaging their applications as RPM's or DEB's, for example creating
init scripts which don't obey the distribution's policies, or making
willy-nilly modifications to configuration files all over the place,
even in other packages (which in the Debian world is a *big* no-no,
that's why many Debian/Ubuntu packages have now moved to the conf.d
type of configuration directory, so that other packages can drop in
little independent snippets of configuration)
I have seen, for example, .deb packages from a Large Company With
Which We Are All Familiar which essentially attempted to convert your
system into a Red Hat system by moving all your init scripts around
and whatnot, so once you'd installed this abomination, you'd totally
wrecked the ability of many of the main distro packages to be updated
ever again. Oh, and of course uninstalling the package didn't put
anything back the way it had been before.
Like you, I tend to use tarballs if they are available, and if I want
to turn them into packages I do it myself, and make sure they are
policy compliant for the distro.
So this, while not a statement in favour of either flavour of distro,
is definitely a warning to be very wary of what packages that have
come from sources other than the distro itself might do (which of
course, you'd be wary of anyway for security reasons).
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