Packaging collaboration between distributions

Matt Domsch matt at
Sun Feb 10 03:45:52 UTC 2008

On Sat, Feb 09, 2008 at 11:23:09PM +0530, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> Hi,
> A while back I noticed 
> relying on Fedora licensing guidelines. This makes perfect sense since 
> we have comprehensive guidelines and listing of licenses but this isn't 
> a very active form of collaboration. Packaging between between 
> distributions differ unnecessarily on technical minutia that isn't a 
> selling point of any sort and just wastes time. Taking just RPM based 
> distributions, we have Fedora, Mandriva, OpenSUSE etc building a 
> packaging community on its own, they have differences in atleast the 
> following things:
>  * Package names and granularity
>  * Location of files
>  * Unique Configuration files
>  * Vendor macros

For my part, I've helped make packages like hwdata become more
friendly and accessible to other distributions, by encouraging it to
become its own upstream project on, which lets others
commit to it too.  Ubuntu has now started using this new upstream, and
I've been discussing with several maintainers from Gentoo, SuSE,
Fedora, and other upstream projects about how to make hwdata even more
useful across them all to reduce duplication of effort.  I thank
GregKH for seeing my blog post about this, and another by Diego
"Flameeyes" Petten which I hadn't seen, and putting two and two

A second cross-distro project I'm involved with is the Linux
Foundation Driver Backport Working Group.  It's goal is to deal with
backporting device drivers from latest onto (historical)
distribution kernels, ala kmod/DKMS, cross-distro.  We've got people
from Dell, IBM, HP, Fujitsu-Siemens, Novell, Red Hat / Fedora, Ubuntu,
and the OpenPrinting project (to expand the scope somewhat) actively
involved.  You can join too.

I think there's room for lots of collaboration along this line, in
addition to simplifying the disparate RPM spec file rules for each.


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