One thing that I often get asked as a package maintainer is how hard is it to make rpms?
Well, here’s a little secret, if you have the right tools, it’s actually quite easy.
The main tool I use is mezzanine – one of the people I worked with on the cAos Linux distributions wrote this toolset in perl, and it is installable even on debian-based distros. His website is experiencing issues at the moment but it is http://beta.kainx.org/. If it’s still down and you want the rpm, rpm.pbone.net can find you an rpm.
The basics are that you need a folder that contains an “F” “P” and “S” directory, and yes, that is all uppercase. The F folder contains a spec file similar to what’s below, the S folder contains the source files and the P directory is a clever little patch making system.
The spec file is almost exactly the same as a normal rpmbuild spec file and looks like this :-
# spec file for safe-rm
Summary: Don't rm various directorie
Packager: Martyn Ranyard
Stop people accidentally removing directories with rm -rf
* Thu Aug 09 2012 Martyn Ranyard
- Used the debian example config for the default config
rm -rf $RPM_BUILD_ROOT/safe-rm-0.8
zcat $RPM_SOURCE_DIR/safe-rm-0.8.tar.gz | tar -xvf -
mkdir -p $RPM_BUILD_ROOT/usr/bin/
mkdir -p $RPM_BUILD_ROOT/etc/
mkdir -p $RPM_BUILD_ROOT/sbin/
install -m 0755 safe-rm-0.8/safe-rm $RPM_BUILD_ROOT/usr/bin/safe-rm
install -m 0644 safe-rm-0.8/safe-rm.conf $RPM_BUILD_ROOT/etc/safe-rm.conf
ln -s safe-rm rm
ln -s /usr/bin/safe-rm rm
You’ll notice the patch1000 lines reference a patch file, which mezzanine handily creates for you, first you run mzprep, which creates a work dir, then you add/edit files in there to make whatever you’re packaging build and install (to $RPM_BUILD_DIR) and then you run “mzpatch mypatchname.patch” and it creates the patch ready to be deployed.
To create the rpms, change back to the top level directory (the one containing F P & S) and type mzbuild.
It takes a bit of getting used to and a fair bit of fiddling but the end result is good solid rpms.
Note: it can also make deb files and slackware package files but KainX is the guy to talk to on that front.