Packaging is one of those nagging problems that has buggered me for years. When do you create your own RPM or DEB package? Of course the answer is, it depends. I have found two distinct use cases which have
I don’t think the use cases for this tool have been identified in this Linux Journal Article. I see two excellent use cases. First, I see a strong use case for open source software developers. When you first come up with “something cool”, you want others to use it, but it is not ready for Fedora/Debian/Ubuntu packaging by their limited resources.
At that point in the development phase it is nice to have a tool like this (I wrote my own in bash because I didn’t know this existed) because you want to make it easier for others to install and you want the idea/software to get traction.
The second use case is for software that is not in your distributions package manager when managing large installations of servers. As a sysadmin, you become a package maintainer and divert time/energy to qualitatively building spec/control files. This takes more time than it sounds, but if a tool like this can help, it makes it more realistic to use your distributions package manager for requirements/dependencies, un-installs, etc. It really isn’t fun forking Redhat’s spec to keep apache up to date in a different version, but with a tool, this is nice for private use.
On the other hand, if you build a package with checkinstall, it will never be used by Fedora/Debian/Ubuntu/Redhat because all major distributions have very strict guidelines on package building and do not except “generic” packages.
I started this article a long time ago, and the world may very well change with the introduction and popularity of Docker, but for now, there are still repositories for DEB and RPM files….