You are right. RPMs are quite distribution specific thus RH RPMs might
not work on SuSE and vice versa. The answer of the why is the different
locations of software components and the different compiling and
dependency resolving strategies.
I used to follow the below protocol while building my custom RPMs:
1. I unpack the src.rpm of the package in question (ex. the GNUstep) of
2. I check the SPEC file to learn how they managed to build their binary
3. I download the most recent source tarball of the software.
4. I edit the spec file
5. Then I begin to build the binary and source rpms
Unfortunately, as far as I know, there is no package management system
which can handle all details automatically while building packages from
Maybe the closest thingy is the port-tree of the BSDs (NetBSD as it
supports many HW architectures) and the portege system of Gentoo Linux.
I considered to install one of them but with my RS/6000 7025-F50 CHRP
server and the few time I had for this issue I had no luck. I installed
SuSE 7.3 PPC and I upgraded SLES 8 for iSeries and pSeries.
I think for you Yellowdog Linux could be the right choice. It is more
recent and more supported than the out-of-date 7.3 :-(
Or even better, the PPC version of Gentoo Linux.
Sorry to say this, but SuSE (Novell) supports no more the PPC
architecture (even if SLES versions have PPC builds also) for desktop
On Wed, 02 Mar 2005 08:44:59 +0800
"Erik Hentell" <customimage(a)email.com> wrote:
Thanks for responding. I was primarily interested because I had been
told that RPMs are a little distribution-specific. That is, RPMs for
Redhat might not work 100% with SuSE, and so forth. I was sort of
prompted to think about this when I was trying to install GNUstep on
my SuSE box. I carefully downloaded all the software the packages
were dependant on, compiled each with no problems (not RPMs, tar.gz
files). GNUstep, however, started throwing warnings left and right,
and although it compiled, a couple programs wouldn't start correctly
(Project Builder would segfault, for example). I don't think it's an
issue with GNUstep per se. I probably misconfigured something or
didn't run Make with the right flags or something. Anyway, it was a
hassle. I don't mind downloading tarballs and configuring &
compiling them, but it's just easier if there's a package system that
handles the details automatically. It's kind of the lazy way out, but
it reduces hassle.