The evil that is RPM

I just returned from yet another really bad experience with RPM. Scenario: RedHat AS 3.0, freshly installed this morning. Not a single package installed from anywhere other than the RHAS CDs. Needed to change the smarthost in sendmail. This required some 10-15 new RPMs to be installed. One of which was "glibc-2.3.2-95.30-i386". So I install it, and bang, RPM stops working with broken libraries. Turns out I should have installed the -i686 version, even though the system told me to install -i386.

The solution? Copy the i686 version over to a slackware machine, run rpm2tgz, copy it back and just untar it in the root. System back alive. Then run some rpm -i --force to make it understand it was there, and now pray it keeps working. It seems good.

No offense to the pg RPM people, but I would never risk using RPM to install my database. PostgreSQL goes in from source every time. (On Unix that is - on Win32 I use the installer. Because frankly, I've never seen this level of problems on a Windows machine as long as you don't install "weird software")

Now, I wouldn't run RedHat on the box if it was my choice either - slackware is my distro of choice for servers. But for some reason people who say "we support Linux" really only mean "we support RedHat". Which sucks really bad, but that's a different story...

Oh, and in about 1 hour of doing simple "rpm -i" on all the required packages, the RPM database was corrupted four times. Perhaps it's time for these people to put their data in a PostgreSQL database...

Finally, thanks to Devrim for attempting to help me solve this in a less hackish way.


I speak at and organize conferences around Open Source in general and PostgreSQL in particular.


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