how to 'rip apart' a rpm.

Bill Davidsen davidsen at
Thu May 20 04:11:22 UTC 2010

Gene Heskett wrote:
> On Monday 17 May 2010, Mikkel wrote:
>> On 05/17/2010 04:12 PM, Gene Heskett wrote:
>>> Clarify here: I can do all that as the user.  What I can't do, until
>>> somebody decides to fix mkinitrd, is to run it as the user.  That is my
>>> specific bitch.  And I think its perfectly valid.  mkinitrd simply will
>>> not run for anybody but root.
>> Considering that mkinitrd is part of the install procedure, and not
>> part of the build procedure, why is that a problem? The initrd is
>> system specific, so it does not really make sense to run it before
>> the install stage. And you need to be root to do the install anyway.
>> Mikkel
> Why?  In terms of the install, there is no reason why the perms can't be 
> changed so the user can do it all, except the mkinitrd, which in my scripts 
> leaves the initrd-version.img sitting it the src tree to be copied as a 
> separate line in my 'makeit' script.
> The kernel and the initrd once it built, can be installed by the user if the 
> perms had been set to the users ownership because he built them.
Gene, let me say this one more way. mkinitrd is not part of the build, it is 
part of the install. The output of the build can be moved to any similarly 
configured machine and installed, but the mkinitrd needs to know the hardware 
configuration of the machine where it will run.

You building and installing on the same machine is a special case, but in 
general the built kernel is portable and the mkinitrd is part of the install and 
must match the final machine on which the kernel boots.

And install must be done as root...

Bill Davidsen <davidsen at>
   "We have more to fear from the bungling of the incompetent than from
the machinations of the wicked."  - from Slashdot

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