Debian and rpm?

Place to discuss Debian Linux and Debian based distributions
Post Reply
Ice9
guru
guru
Posts: 577
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 12:40 am
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Debian and rpm?

Post by Ice9 » Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:09 am

I grew interested in Debian lately and downloaded the 7 cd's to try it out, so I'm reading a lot first to avoid unpleasant surprises.
I read that one could install rpm packages with Debian, even rpm's made for Red Hat (using a program called "alien").

I'm confused about this, what's the point of the package management system debate if it's possible to install .deb AND .rpm packages with Debian.
That would meand the best of both worlds, wouldn't it?
I even saw rpm repositories for Woody!!

All I should do is # apt-get install rpm and I'm set to go?

Nobber
user
user
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 8:36 am
Location: Slackville

Post by Nobber » Tue Mar 11, 2003 8:21 am

I've never used it, but I believe the point of alien is to convert rpms to debs before installing, so you still only need the one package manager - dpkg.

I would imagine that using both dpkg and rpm on one system can only lead to misery. What if package A.rpm requires package B, but you installed B as a deb? The rpm database won't know anything about the dpkg database, and rpm will therefore complain that you don't have B installed, when you know that in fact you do! I suppose you could cope with this by using --force as required, but who's mad enough to want to cope with this situation when there's no need to?

Ice9
guru
guru
Posts: 577
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 12:40 am
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Post by Ice9 » Tue Mar 11, 2003 9:40 am

Hmmmm, didn't think about the rpm database thingie :)
I guess I should stick with .deb packages when I install Debian this weekend huh?
:D

User avatar
Calum
guru
guru
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:32 am
Location: Bonny Scotland
Contact:

Post by Calum » Tue Mar 11, 2003 11:47 am

i heard alien can convert rpms to rpms for different rpm based distributions too but have not tried it yet.

also, the dpkg/rpm nightmare might be an adventure! why not live life on the edge?!? :P

Ice9
guru
guru
Posts: 577
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 12:40 am
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Post by Ice9 » Tue Mar 11, 2003 5:24 pm

also, the dpkg/rpm nightmare might be an adventure! why not live life on the edge?!?
LOL, going for a Debian install is "on the edge" enough for now :D
I mean, I've got a more or less stable system right now but it's not like I'm on top of things yet, just take a look at how many questions I still have to ask every couple of days :P

ButtDog
user
user
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:09 am

Post by ButtDog » Wed Mar 12, 2003 5:33 am

Debian will not allow you to install *.rpm packages. If you have RPM installed (you need the package "rpm" installed in order for alien to work. Apt should automatically install it for you if you do apt-get install alien), it will give you an error message when you try to run *.rpm in the traditional sense:

rpm -ivh whatever.rpm

To counter this problem, use Alien. It is used as follows:

alien -d whatever.rpm

This will convert your package to a *.deb. From there:

dpkg -i whatever.deb

Of course, all of this requires root privledges, so either write a sudoers file, or install the package called fakeroot. Fakeroot is used just like sudo, although it is not as extensive:

fakeroot alien -d whatever.rpm

With alien, you can use the *.rpm repositories from any distro of Linux that you wish. I have used packages from Red Hat, SuSE, and Mandrake successfully. Since I have purchased SuSE Linux Professional, I saw absolutley no reason as to why I couldn't use Star Office, since I did pay for it when I converted to Debian. The steps above worked like a charm. Star Office is now running.

Every now and then, you will run into some complications with certain packages. For example: For whatever reason or another, the CD Burning utility K3B would not install when I followed the instructions on the sourceforge.net page pertaining to the Debian packages. So, I first used alien on the SuSE *.rpm and it didn't want to run. Once you use dpkg, it will automatically add everything that you have installed via apt-get, or dpkg, into its database. To remove dpkg installed packages, use:

apt-get remove packagename

That will remove the installed package from your computer. (If you want to install K3B, use the Red Hat package with alien. For some reason or another, I can't get it to work with KDE, but it works with all of my other window managers.)

Hope that helps...

Ice9
guru
guru
Posts: 577
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 12:40 am
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Post by Ice9 » Wed Mar 12, 2003 6:14 am

Yeah thanks, it clears up a lot.
However I was under the impression that you could install non-distro specific rpm packages with Debian.
Otherwise why would rpm be available for download in de apt-get repositories?

But clearly it would soon become hazardous to figure out which package manager you used to install different packages, since apt wouldn't know about any rpm .....

User avatar
Void Main
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5716
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 5:24 am
Location: Tuxville, USA
Contact:

Post by Void Main » Wed Mar 12, 2003 7:33 am

RPM would be needed to query the RPM package for the conversion to *.deb:

http://www.kitenet.net/programs/alien/

Post Reply