[CentOS] obtaining non-packaged software

Sat Nov 6 12:00:19 UTC 2010
Mathieu Baudier <mbaudier at argeo.org>

> I have been using Fedora on my home desktop for close to an year, and
> I am happy with it, nevertheless I am considering switching to a
> slower-moving distro.

I followed the same path a few years ago, and I'm very happy with it.
So, welcome!

> CentOS + EPEL put together have less packages than Fedora. Moreover

I use CentOS + EPEL as a base and include specific packages from
RPMForge, using  includepkgs in the /etc/yum.repos.d/rpmforge.repo

For example my (very personal) package list from RPMForge:

includepkgs=pam_keyring pbzip2 subversion* mod_dav_svn bonnie++
xplanet xplanet-maps filezilla allegro* unrar aircrack-ng
python-reportlab python-psycopg drupal6 powertop fuse-davfs2 dropbox*
nautilus-dropbox gtkimageview*

I used RPMFusion when on Fedora and found it a great repo, but on
CentOS, RPMForge is much more complete and of better quality IMHO

> I can go upstream, get sources and build them. It is a good solution,

I build locally very rarely and only when I need something quick on my
workstation that I know I will use once (I don't even install it and
run the binaries directly when possible).

> it possible to get a Fedora binary package and install it? What about

in general, no

> getting a Fedora source package, building and installing it? Is there

Yes and it is pretty straightforward for a lot of them.

Just first unzip the Fedora SRPM with the Archive Manager and copy the
files in rpmbuild/SOURCES and rpmbuild/SPECS
(the RPM format somehow changed around Fedora 9 or 10, so rpm -Uvh
*.src.rpm won't work with recent Fedora versions)

However for some packages you will see that they depend on recent
versions of some software, especially the graphical environment
libraries (GTK/GNOME or Qt/KDE).
In that case there is not much you can do, because you don't want to
update core libraries of CentOS (if yous start going that way, you
should rather keep using Fedora or use Ubuntu...)

An approach is then to look at earlier Fedora versions until you find
a version of the software which is still compatible with the CentOS
CentOS is more or less compatible with Fedora 6, but I found that up
to Fedora 9 most packages rebuild easily