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Introducing FPM - Effing Package Management

Having become fed up with dealing with rpmbuild, spec files, debian control files, dh_make, debuild, and the whole lot, I automated my way back to sanity.

The result is a tool I call "fpm" which aims to help you make and mangle packages however you choose, all (ideally) without having to care about the internals of your particular native package format.

The goal of this project is not to undermine upstream packaging but to grant everyone the ability to trivially build and edit packages. Why? Not all software is packaged. Not all software of the version you want is packaged. And further, not all users are willing or able to take the time to learn all the ins and outs of their package build tools.

For example, you can package up your /etc/init.d directory as an RPM by doing simply this:

% fpm -s dir -t rpm -n myinitfiles -v 1.0 /etc/init.d
Created /home/jls/rpm/myinitfiles-1.0.x86_64.rpm
fpm will create a simple package for you and put it in your current directory. The result:
% rpm -qp myinitfiles-1.0.x86_64.rpm -l

% rpm -qp myinitfiles-1.0.x86_64.rpm --provides
myinitfiles = 1.0-1
% rpm -qp myinitfiles-1.0.x86_64.rpm --requires
rpmlib(PayloadFilesHavePrefix) <= 4.0-1
rpmlib(CompressedFileNames) <= 3.0.4-1
You can package up any directory. But there's more.

Above, I didn't specify a package summary, so how about fixing the rpm to include the description? You can use RPMs as the source (-s flag) in fpm. There's also a helpful '-e' (--edit) flag that'll let you edit the rpm spec (or debian control) file before building.

% rpm -qp myinitfiles-1.0.x86_64.rpm --info | grep Summary
Summary     : no summary given

% fpm -s rpm -t rpm -e myinitfiles-1.0.x86_64.rpm
... this opens up $EDITOR so you can edit the spec file it generated ...
... make some changes to the spec, including adding a proper 'Summary' ...
Created /home/jls/rpm/myinitfiles-1.0-1.x86_64.rpm

% rpm -qp myinitfiles-1.0-1.x86_64.rpm --info | grep Summary
Summary     : my /etc/init.d directory
The '-s dir' flag says the source of the package is a directory. There's also support for other package sources like rubygems, other rpms, debs, and more on the way.

With FPM, you can specify dependencies, architecture, maintainer, etc. All from a simple command line, and never forcing you to learn the pain and suffering that can come with rpm spec files or debian package building.

You can install fpm with: gem install fpm

The project page is here:

The wiki is here (has more examples):