[Fedora-packaging] I wish to package some CC licensed content ...

steve at lonetwin.net steve at lonetwin.net
Fri Feb 20 12:08:30 UTC 2009

Hi Lyos, Michel,

Thanks for your comments and interest in this. I've been thinking  
about this continuously since i started the thread. I have also  
packaged a few[1] rpms and created a yum repo. I have not announced it  
yet, since I keep changing my mind about how best to create the rpms,  
so the rpms are not consistent in naming or packaging conventions.

Anyways, here are my thoughts on the issue:

Quoting Michel Salim <michel.sylvan at gmail.com>:

> On Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 2:02 PM, Lyos Gemini Norezel
> <lyos.gemininorezel at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I don't know about your system... but my system already has 349 folders in
>> /usr/share ... which would likely be overwhelming to John Q Public.
>> I'd suggest a different, perhaps dedicated, location if it is to be
>> system-wide.
> If it's under /usr, it'd really have to be somewhere in %{_datadir},
> i.e. /usr/share. And given that Fedora does not even use /opt, it's
> hard to see it going somewhere else. Although perhaps
> /usr/share/fedora-cc/{books,music,video,...} is less scattered than
> /usr/share/{books,music,video,...}.

I like this idea and I was thinking along the same lines. In addition  
to this, I was thinking about making the rpms relocatable, so that if  
a user prefers, the rpm could be installed under  
~/fedora-cc/{books,music,video,...}[2] ...etc.

There are 2 problem though:

a. Yum doesn't seem to have an option to support relocatable packages  
(AFAICT, the '--installroot' option will assume a rpmdb under the  
installroot, whereas relocatable packages just install to a different  
directory but use the regular system-wide rpmdb, I could be wrong  
tho', I haven't tried it yet)

b. You'd still have to be root to install these rpms. This however, is  
not a major issue, IMHO, since most folk are likely to install such  
content on boxes where they do have root access (eg: their  

> One consideration would be to have a fedora-cc-menus similar to
> games-menus, that would make sure any contents appear in a reasonable
> place in a user's applications menu.

This is a good idea too ! Thanks !

Anyway, here is what I plan on doing:
- Create a set of packaging guidelines for myself, so that i am  
consistent in creating the specs
- Explore the possibilities offered by yum (yum plugins ??) to be able to:
     + customize the install location of the content
     + pay attention to the 'Group' header for group installations,  
instead of needing a comps.xml
- Create some rpms, buy a domain name (any suggestions ??), set up the  
repo and announce a beta :) !
- These might be totally crazy ...they are just idle thoughts as of now:
     + Explore if rpm allows for customization of headers, so that we  
may better describe the content
     + Understand the rpm format so that we can build rpms by just slapping a
     rpm header to a (cpio ??) archive instead of ^building^ (ie: going through
     the motions of %prep, %build, %install ..etc) an rpm.

However, my time being limited (and the fact that i'll be taking a 2  
week vacation starting next Wednesday), I do not know when this will  
happen. Of course I welcome comments, suggestions any any other help.

- steve

PS: like i mentioned in my previous post, if people here think this  
discussion is off-topic, we can move it someplace else.

[1] Just these rpms actually:
Advanced Linux Programming - alp-1.0-1.fc10.noarch.rpm
Code Listings from Advanced Linux Programming -  
Comic book adaption of Cory Doctorow's book Futuristic Tales of the  
Here and Now - corydoctorow-ftothan-pdf-1.0-1.noarch.rpm
Free Culture, By Lawrence Lessig - MP3 version -  
Free Culture, By Lawrence Lessig - PDF version -  
Linux Device Drivers, Third Edition - ldd3-pdf-3-1.noarch.rpm

[2] I am not quite sure whether we can call it fedora-cc if it is not  
fedora endorsed. Also, since this content is not tied down to any  
distro, methinks the rpm can be installed on any rpm based distro,  
using any package manager.

More information about the Fedora-packaging mailing list