[CentOS] Why is yum not liked by some?

Dag Wieers dag at wieers.com
Fri Sep 9 11:21:56 UTC 2005

On Thu, 8 Sep 2005, Dave Gutteridge wrote:

> Actually, this leads me to a question I wanted to ask anyway. I've been
> advised here before that I should always try to install things through Yum or
> RPMs. I've been told that installing from tar files and building from source
> is a bad idea.

I felt more comfortable if you also mentioned why it is a bad idea.

If you install files from a tarball or build from source on a system, you 
have no log of what files have been placed where. With RPM you can at all 
time query rpmdb to see if a file has been changed, from what package it 
is, who needs that package, etc...

If you build or install RPM packages, the install process _relies_ on this 
information and requires it to be correct. But if you installed something 
from a tarball (and eg. replaced a file that came from an RPM) you 
introduce an inconsistency which is untraceable.

A good example which appears from time to time is when you used CPAN to 
install perl modules, and then install an RPM package that requires these 
modules. RPM doesn't know about the CPAN installed packages and complains 
the required perl modules are not installed (via RPM) even though you 
installed them by hand.

Another big reason NOT to install stuff by hand is that you loose a big 
advantage in the fact that you system will not be similar to someone 
else's system. If you eg. start replacing libraries and suddenly something 
doesn't work, most people will not help you since they can not repoduce 
the problem. Your system is uniquely crippled :)

The same is true when you use packages that were not built or designed for 
you distribution/release. Or when you --force or --nodeps a package.

> But what does one do when there is software that is readily available for
> other Linux distros, and is theoretically buildable for CentOS, but not
> available from the standard Yum repositories like Dag and CentOS's own? Is one
> supposed to contact the repository owner and request the software be included?

Package it yourself or find someone to package it for you. Sometimes 
people will give you a much better alternative that is already packaged.
You can always contribute a self-made package to RPMforge or request 
something to be packaged at: suggest at lists.rpmforge.net

Kind regards,
--   dag wieers,  dag at wieers.com,  http://dag.wieers.com/   --
[all I want is a warm bed and a kind word and unlimited power]

More information about the CentOS mailing list