RPM roadmapping

Alan Cox alan at redhat.com
Thu Aug 2 13:23:50 UTC 2007

On Wed, Aug 01, 2007 at 06:04:07PM -0400, Adam Jackson wrote:
> > cpio is a real standard archive format (there are something like a half
> > dozen _different_ tar formats around) plus it is very simple.
> At the time only cpio was standardized.  POSIX 2001 tar is probably
> quite adequate by now.  Certainly it's widely deployed on linux.

POSIX 2001 tar is an ugly horrible hack. What you have to understand
is that cpio is a really elegant archive format attached to a truely
braindead application (/bin/cpio) while tar is a mass of ugly multi-layered
hacks heaped on each other with a nice application.

For RPM the fact the internal format is cpio is a huge win for simple and
clean code (remember the archive parser is security sensitive), and it has no
weird padding issues to mess up signing. Erik picked cpio for the original
rpm package manager for very good reasons.

> There are, of course, people who think using the same package manager
> across multiple operating systems is an interesting exercise; those
> people are insane.

Well some of them are insane, successful and profitable in that case. Package
management is a fairly portable problem for the most part.


More information about the fedora-devel-list mailing list