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Request for policy clarification

Recently, I've had to deal with a rather touchy situation in EPEL. I built the package libtalloc of version 2.0.1 as a dependency on several other packages that I was building: libtevent, libldb and sssd.

This was released and entered EPEL5 stable during the lifetime of RHEL 5.4.

When RHEL 5.5 was released, however, it contained a new package, samba3x, that built as a subpackage libtalloc 1.2.0. So now there is a conflict in EPEL, which violates the "EPEL won't upgrade packages in RHEL" rule.

However, we also have a responsibility to those relying on this package in EPEL (as libtalloc 1.2.0 is too old to work as the dependency for libldb or sssd).

My case was somewhat fortunate: libtalloc 2.x had gone through an soname bump. I was able to (in a very hideous hack) rebuild a copy of libtalloc 1.2.0 from the samba3x SRPM and repackage it into my EPEL libtalloc 2.x package. Thus, any users who were using e.g. SSSD in EPEL 5 will be able to update to RHEL 5.6, even if it is in violation of the "EPEL won't upgrade packages in RHEL" rule.

However, I think we need a general policy written up for EPEL on how we should handle other packages that end up in this situation. For example, what do we do if a package has NOT had an soname bump, and some EPEL packages cannot function with the older version of the library in RHEL?

Obviously, this is a problem that must be solved in EPEL, not in RHEL. The RHEL policy will always be (and should be) "If you install a third-party repository, your problems are your own".

* Last note: I am working with the samba3x team at Red Hat to eliminate this conflict in RHEL 5.6 by pulling libtalloc 2.0.1 into RHEL proper and building samba3x against it.

Stephen Gallagher
RHCE 804006346421761

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