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Bombing of Dresden (was Plea for help: The detriment of using Microsoft products)

On 2000-05-17 at 09:16 -0400, Jeffry Smith wrote:

> I haven't done this in Mandrake, but I do download .debs, run through
> alien to make into .rpms, then install on Red Hat.  mainly because the
> Debian site seems to be one of the best collections of open source
> software around.

So why not just run Debian in the first place? :)

> Alien can work the other way too, but takes downloading some packages
> from Debian, and can be a pain.  Hopefully, the vendors will start
> work on improving it so you can go between .debs and .rpms easily.

Alien is mostly a Debian tool, and its .deb to .rpm conversion was taken
from the martian program that it replaces.  Although it is possible to
convert file formats using it, the .deb system is a superset of the .rpm
system in terms of capability, so it is much less likely that converting a
.deb to a .rpm will work than converting a .rpm to a .deb.

Both types of conversion will usually work if you do enough manual
configuration to work around the conversion, but this is not necessarily
easy.  For example, I eventually got Applixware 4.3.7 running on Debian
potato, but this required installing libc5 support (which is itself a
standard Debian package), installing outdated X libs in a non-standard
place, and writing a shell script to rejigger the LD_LIBRARY_PATH.  Now,
this is probably an extreme case, since Applixware is a commercial package
that is supplied only as a .rpm with no source, and it certainly was not
the sort of thing that an average user would be expected to do.

-- Mike

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