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(?) The Answer Guy (!)

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

(?) RPM Dependencies: HOW?

From Riccardo Donato on Sun, 22 Nov 1998

How can you install rpm packages that are written for redhat 4.0 or 5.0? I tried to install them but for some of them I receive error messages (libraries which are not into the system).

(!) When asking questions in any public forum (mailing list, newsgroup, webazine or traditional magazine) if the question relates to any errors you are seeing ....
It's also a good idea to include the exact command line or sequence that gave the error. I can't tell if you were getting this from a shell prompt using the 'rpm' command or from some X Windows or curses front end to the RPM system.
That said I suspect that the RPM system is complaining about dependencies. That is to say that the package you are trying to installed "depends" on another package (such as a library).
The usual solution is to get get the RPM file which provides those libraries or other resources, and install them first. Sometimes it can be a bit of a trick to figure out which RPM's you need to install and in what order. It would be nice if Red Hat Inc. provided better information on that (perhaps in the "info" page that can be extracted fromm any RPM file using the 'rpm -qpi' command). There's some 'rpm --whatprovides' switch --- but I have no idea what that does.
Another trick, if you have a hybrid system (with some RPM's and some packages you've built and installed from "tarballs" or even through the Debian package system) is to try the installation with the "--nodeps" option to the 'rpm' command. However, this may not work very well, even if you have the requisite packages installed. It shouldn't be a problem with libraries --- but some other types of files might not be located in the "right places." You can usually solve that with judicious use of symlinks; but you need to know what the RPM package's programs are looking for and where.
Without knowing the specific packages involved, I couldn't do more than generalize. Considering that there's a whole web site devoted to the RPM system http://www.rpm.org and a couple of mid-sized corporations (Red Hat, http://www.redhat.com, and S.u.S.E. http://www.suse.de and http://www.suse.com) --- it would be silly for me to generalize on the RPM system.

Copyright © 1998, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 35 December 1998

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