RPM Press Release
The final availability of RPM 5.0
was announced in the following
official press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2008-01-05
RPM Package Manager (RPM) version 5.0.0 released.
http://rpm5.org/ -- 2008-01-05 -- After seven months of comprehensive
development, the popular Unix software packaging tool RPM Package
Manager (RPM) was released as stable version 5.0.0. The relaunch of the
RPM project in spring 2007 and today's following availability of RPM 5
marks a major milestone for the previously rather Linux-centric RPM. RPM
now finally evolved into a fully cross-platform and reusable software
WHAT IS NEW IN RPM 5.0.0
The Automake/Autoconf/Libtool-based build environment of RPM was
completely revamped from scratch and as one major result mostly all
third-party libraries now can be linked externally and in a very
flexible way. Support for the ancient and obsolete "rpmrc" files was
completely removed, as everything is now configured through RPM "macros"
under run-time only.
The RPM code base was ported to all major platforms, including the
BSD, Linux, Solaris and Mac OS X Unix flavors and Windows/Cygwin.
Additionally, the code base was heavily cleaned up and now can be
compiled with all major C compiler suites, including GNU GCC, Sun Studio
and Intel C/C++.
The RPM packages, in addition to the default Gzip and optional Bzip2
compression, now support also LZMA compression. Additionally, initial
support for the XML Archive (XAR) file format was added where the
implementation establishes a wrapper archive format for mapping the
four sections used in RPM format packages (Lead, Signature, Header and
Payload) to files with the same name in a XAR format package. Finally,
support for the old RPMv3 (LSB) package format was removed to cleanup
and simplify the code base. RPM 5, with respect to RPM format packages,
now supports RPMv4 format only.
Additional features for use in package specifications (.spec files)
were added, including new standard and even custom tags, new standard
sections, etc. Most notably, RPM is now able to automatically track
vendor distribution files with its new vcheck(1) based "%track" section
and now can automatically download the vendor distribution files, too.
RPM is a powerful and mature command-line driven package management
system capable of installing, uninstalling, verifying, querying, and
updating Unix software packages. Each software package consists of
an archive of files along with information about the package like
its version, a description, and the like. There is also a library
API, permitting advanced developers to manage such transactions from
programming languages such as C, Perl or Python.
Traditionally, RPM is a core component of many Linux distributions,
including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, Novell SUSE Linux
Enterprise, openSUSE, CentOS, Mandriva Linux, and many others. But
RPM is also used for software packaging on many other Unix operating
systems like FreeBSD, Sun OpenSolaris, IBM AIX and Apple Mac OS X by
the cross-platform Unix software distribution OpenPKG. Additionally,
the RPM archive format is an official part of the Linux Standard
Base (LSB). RPM is released as free software under the GNU LGPL
HISTORY OF RPM
RPM was originally written in 1997 by Erik Troan and Marc Ewing for use
in the Red Hat Linux distribution. Later the development of RPM became
a classical free software community effort, now lead since many years
by RPM's primary developer Jeff Johnson. In spring 2007 the RPM project
was relaunched by Jeff Johnson on a new infrastructure provided by the
OpenPKG project and its Ralf S. Engelschall. With the RPM 5 milestone,
RPM finally evolved into a fully portable and vendor-agnostic packaging
tool, which especially is no longer tied to its historical Linux roots.