Multilib Middle-Ground

Chris Snook csnook at
Thu May 1 19:53:45 UTC 2008

Colin Walters wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 4:08 PM, Chris Snook <csnook at> wrote:
>>  [X] Install 32-bit libraries
> I think we want to move away from "Build your own Linux", rather than
> closer; and these kinds of questions move us in the wrong direction.
> There is a more general problem at work here - we want to provide
> packages so that third party software can work, even though nothing
> else in the install image depends on it.   For example of how this
> isn't just an x86_64 issue; some things out there require
> compat-libstdc++, or at least they did in the recent past.

We do?  A lot of people don't.

> The right way to approach this I think is to target specific third
> party applications which we want to work out of the box.  Say for
> example, Flash and VMWare Workstation.  Surely there are others, but I
> think we can arrive at a reasonably sane set.  We then add these
> packages to the default install image.

NO!  That is absolutely the wrong way to approach this.  That encourages 
people to keep their software closed and out of the distribution.  We 
should be encouraging people to include their software in the 
distribution, or at the very least, to package it in a manner that 
integrates well with the distribution.

>>  [ ] Install development headers
> Hmm?  I don't see what you want here that's not covered by the
> combination of the "Development Tools" comps group as well as
> yum-builddep.

That only covers core things like glibc.  There are loads of -devel 
packages, which a small minority of very important users (software 
developers) may want installed, but only when they have the 
corresponding library installed.  I'm not wedded to this idea, but it 
illustrates my point about thinking of packaging associatively, rather 
than hierarchically.

-- Chris

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