Clarification on package review issues

Jay Hankinson jeremy.hankinson at
Wed Jun 30 00:58:42 UTC 2010

  Thanks for the quick response, spot. See below...
On 6/29/10 5:25 PM, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
> On 06/29/2010 08:12 PM, Jay Hankinson wrote:
>>   Hello Fedora Devs,
>> I'm currently going through the pre-review process for adding Ingres to
>> the Fedora distribution
>> ( I'm getting some
>> conflicting information for a couple of issues and I was hoping for some
>> clarification.
>> Firstly, "%defattr()". The standard says it should be
>> "%defattr(-.root,root-)" unless there is a good reason for it not to be.
>> The vast majority of the files included in the Ingres packages are owned
>> by the user 'ingres', which seems (IMHO) to be a good reason to use
>> "%defattr(-,ingres,ingres,-)".  One reviewer disagreed, one agreed this
>> was probably OK but that I should check. What's the consensus here?
> If there is a valid reason for the ingres user to own those files, then
> it is correct to do so as a defattr. Just be careful. :)
Thanks, I will. :-)
>> Next, use of -f in the %files section. There are over 1700 files between
>> the 4 RPMs and the ownership and permission for each file is maintained
>> by one of the build tools. The file lists are generated as part of the
>> build process, not stored statically in the source. In order to add the
>> file lists to the SPEC files, I would need to do full build of the exact
>> same source outside of RPM, generate the files list, add them to SPEC
>> file and then run the RPM build. This is a fairly large over head for
>> each update and makes maintenance a much larger task and much more
>> susceptible to human error. By using the -f flag, I can generate the
>> lists at build time using the existing manifest and they will always be
>> correct. %files -f is also used by PostgreSQL so it's not completely
>> outlawed. Am I OK to use it?
> %files -f is permitted. You might find that things end up being more
> complicated, especially if you have config files or locale files, as
> your file list won't handle those properly.
Indeed and I've had to add a few exceptions by hand. For most of the 
files though, it's actually much easier for me to use the lists 
generated from the existing (non-rpm) packaging info.
> I tend to be of the opinion that the file lists in the spec are unlikely
> to change radically for most packages, except for major revision
> changes, and the fact that you can leverage tricks like:
>    # This entry in the %%files list causes your package to own
>    # /usr/share/ingres/ and all of the files and directories below it
>    # as found in the buildroot.
>    %{_datadir}/ingres/
> Not to mention * being valid in %files lists. If it were me, I'd try not
> to use %files -f unless I absolutely had to.
Unfortunately, it not really possible to split files along directory or 
wildcard lines. They pretty much all install into the same locations.
> ~spot

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