Maximum RPM:
Taking the Red Hat Package Manager to the Limit

Edward C. Bailey

Red Hat Software 1997
A book review by Danny Yee © 1997
Recently I was using irc when I discovered that the help files weren't installed (or couldn't be found). Rather than ferreting around for them, I logged onto a Linux box and installed irc from scratch — seconds later I had it working, complete with help files. The magic behind this was the Red Hat Package Manager, rpm.

Now using rpm like this is so simple that there's hardly a need for a whole book on the subject, but Maximum RPM begins with a complete guide to using rpm to install, remove, and upgrade software packages (some 120 pages). The real meat is in the remainder of the book, which is aimed at package builders rather than end-users. It covers everything one needs to know about building rpm packages, starting with the basics and moving on to subpackages and cross-platform builds. For the really serious, there is a chapter on the RPM Library API and the appendices detail, among other things, the internal format of the rpm, rpmrc, and spec files.

Maximum RPM errs, perhaps, on the side of completeness, with some unnecessary repetition given the likely technical sophistication of its readers. But it includes a lot of useful information, including some handy hints about package building in general. And it is not a book just for professional package builders — it is also for those of us who like the neatness and the convenience of having all their software managed by the one system, and who still find it is helpful to have detailed printed documentation around.

October 1997

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%T Maximum RPM
%S Taking the Red Hat Package Manager to the Limit
%A Bailey, Edward C.
%I Red Hat Software
%D 1997
%O hardcover, index
%G ISBN 1888172789
%P xx,442pp