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Re: rsync and rawhide

On Fri, 17 Oct 2003, Kevin Fenzi wrote:

> Someone the other day was telling me that with updates for SuSe you
> could pull down all the new rpms, or just pull down changes between
> the updated rpm and your current version... 
> Ah, there they are... called 'patch rpms'.
> From:
> http://www.suse.com/us/private/download/updates/90_i386.html
> "New: Patch RPMs
> As of now we are offering so called Patch RPM packages. A Patch RPM
> updates an already installed RPM. It only contains files which have
> changed - therefore it is (much) smaller than the complete RPM
> package. Prerequisite for installation is an already installed basic
> RPM. The packages included on the SUSE LINUX 9.0-CDs/DVD are
> considered as basic RPMs.  If you want to update an already installed
> package, please download the smaller Patch RPM package."
> Something like this would be very handy for keeping up with rawhide,
> saving redhat bandwith, and making more people use it as it became
> smaller/faster/easer to do. 
> Anyone know how they do those? Would that be hard to implement?

Interesting. Looking at just one patch.rpm,


Dumping the rpm contents shows it contains just a single file (the one which 
needed to be changed)

rpm -qlp on the patch.rpm, however, lists it as containing all the files
which are normally in the bluez-bluefw package

I guess when it gets installed, it leaves the old files on, replaces the one 
which needs fixing, then registers in rpmdb? I wonder what happens if you 
rpm -e the patch? Do you go back to the original package, or do you 
uninstall the whole package?

Looking at the spec file for the rpm, I see no evidence of how the patch.rpm 
is generated....

At any rate, this on one level at least seems like a bad idea to me. One of
the nice things about managing Linux (versus other Unixen) is that on most
major Linux distros patch management and software management are the same
thing -- patches are just new versions of existing packages, and you
install, track, etc. the way you do any packages. That's better than the
usual "one set of tools to manage packages, another to manage bugfixes to
packages".... The patch.rpm's seem a bit of a step backwards, at least in 
that respect.


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