A word on package management

Ville Skyttä ville.skytta at iki.fi
Sat May 26 08:25:07 UTC 2007

On Saturday 26 May 2007, J French wrote:

> On the subject of licenses, at least the GPL should exist in an RPM by
> itself and be a dependency of all packages covered under that license.
> The same could be done for other licenses as well and this would ensure
> the end user had a copy on system. Of course, this would require a bit
> of work by the package management team as the dependency would need to
> be added to all of those package. Even better, the proper license RPM
> could be dictated by the License field already in those files.

IANAL, but I don't think dependency to a license file on the filesystem or to 
a package providing one is really enough.  There's rpm2cpio 
and "rpm --nodeps" etc so I believe the license file must be included in the 
package payloads.

On the other hand, once installed, some space could be saved eg. by 
hardlinking identical files, but that won't help with *.rpm file sizes, but 
we're not talking too big space savings here anyway.  Some numbers: GPL text 
is about 18kB, GPL text gzipped is about 7kB (such as in package payload 
sizes), hardlinking identical /usr/share/doc/*/COPYING on my FC6 system would 
save about 3.4MB.

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