My philosophy for AIXTOOLS PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Michael Felt   

The core goals

  • Install without compiler installed
  • Can be uninstalled
  • Does not overwrite existing packages 

How I got started

I have been "porting" Opensource to AIX for nearly 20 years. Always to learn more about AIX and usually to have access to a tool that was not part of the basic IBM packaging.

Initially, I did care that I needed the compiler installed to run "make install". However, as time (years) passed, this was becoming an issue. At first I took the lazy route and used packages made by others - especially the AIX Toolkit - since IBM was managing that. At least I could install without a compiler, and most of the time they could be uninstalled as well. And, at the time, I was less aware of what was preventing the uninstall (overwriting existing files).

After a couple of incidents - where after an update of AIX software core AIX features did not work as expected I started researching and found the RPM packages (no longer maintained actively by IBM) to be at the root of the failure. Generally, it was a library, or a symbolic link to a library that was initially owned by AIX (installp), then overwritten by an RPM package, then overwritten by an installp update. My gut feeling - this needs to be done differently.

My philosophy for packaging (aka AIXTOOLS)

  • Start with no RPM packages installed (other than the ones installed via the installp package "rpm.rte")
  • As few dependancies as possible
  • Whenever possible - do not touch something that might be installed. I have a few exceptions where I update an installed file (e.g., /usr/lib/libz.a) when having two (/opt/lib/libz.a and /usr/lib/libz.a) causes problems.
  • If you can install(p) it, you can (un)install(p) it. (Too many nightmares when an rpm package changes something and decides you cannot live without it - and it is true. Even though it may break itself when you update AIX).
  • Use installp as format - because rpm is just another installer (which could be okay) that, sadly, does not warn you when it overwrites something already installed using installp. So, philosophy - use one installer (package manager).
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