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Linux standards

After last night's meeting I had a better perspective on the Linux 
standards. On Unix I've been involved with implementing to meet standards. 
I've also sat on some standards committees.

One of the issues I have with the Linux (and Unix) community is packaging. 
Red Hat and Mandrake use roughtly equivalent RPMs. 
SuSE uses RPMs, but their database is maintained differently. 
Debian does its own thing with .deb.
Slackware uses tarballs.
All the above systems can use RBM or import .deb

For Linux to thrive in a non sophisticated user environment, such as most 
Windows and Macs),  most applications would probably require binary 
installs using a standardized package manager. 

Many Linux and BSD applications are distributed in source form. I would 
like to see a more standardized packaging/install procedure for these also. 
Most of the better apps require the following steps:
1. ./configure [ configure arguments ]
2. make
3. become root.
4. make install
5. become non-root.

This could be easily done by a package manager. While binary installs are 
good for many users, source installs can be more customized to your 

Jerry Feldman <gaf at>
Associate Director
Boston Linux and Unix user group PGP key id:C5061EA9
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