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Thread: RPM or source?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    LA, CA

    RPM or source?

    Which is better? Installing from source or using an RPM? Also, is there a way to "uninstall" programs using shell?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    New York
    youc an uninstall rpms with rpm -e 'package'
    install things using rpms if you are using what you are installing.
    install from source rpm ( .src.rpm ) if you want to modify and rebuild an existing rpm

    install from source ( .tar.gz etc ) if there is no rpm to install, or if you need to complete custom job of it or modify. this requires a configure and make, series of compilation steps.

    some packages installed from source tarball will include an uninstaller, usually make uninstall from the root source directory.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    LA, CA
    Ok, thanks for the info!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Regina, Saskatchewan, CA
    I would only install from source for two reasons.

    I will almost never use source unless what I'm installing is (or nearly) mission critical. An example would be that though I would install a kernel source from RPM, I would only install a new kernel from source. Or, I would install from source if there wasn't already a pre-built package like an RPM.

    That being said..
    The ironic thing is that when I'm running through a configure script and find that stuff is missing, I'm usually tripping over myself to use yum or urpmi (depending on which of my boxen I'm installing something on) to fill those dependancies. Sometimes, I'll spend more time installing dependancies that the source code requires than the source will take to compile. Heh.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    San Jose, CA.
    One problem with compiling and installing packages from source is that in order to maintain any longterm manageability of your /usr/local directory... you have to setup some way of being able to assure an easy uninstall process.

    I tend to solve that by implementing my own epkg type build process where everything gets installed into it's own directory ie --prefix=/usr/local/build/packagename-versionx.y.z

    and then creating symlinks in the real /usr/local/[bin,etc,lib,include] directories...

    I used to like to compile everything from source... but in many cases I've found it to be way more time consuming.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2001



    Because I have some other options that need to be enabled and RPMs do not have them enabled. And often RPMs are not optimized for your specific processors.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    For apps that need customization on your system - go for source.

    Otherwise, try your distro's auto package manager. That's yum on Fedora, up2date on RHEL, emerge on Debian.

    I tend to not use RPMs - your auto package manager is the quickest, and source or RPM tend to be equivalent in the amount if time they take (IMO).

  8. #8
    I would give priority to rpm then souce if I could not find rpm package,

    Because management of package is very easy and tricky you will have all the location of related files and binary and library as well as you can easly upgrade manage and uninstall it.

    deal with dependecy is also easy. but the disadvantages is you have to find rpm for your system architecture and OS. where as souce is platform and os independent.


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