[maemo-users] Installing apps when there's no installer

From: James Sparenberg james at linuxrebel.org
Date: Sun Oct 28 11:12:19 EET 2007
On Saturday 27 October 2007 06:58:19 Peter Flynn wrote:
> James Sparenberg wrote:
> [alternate install location]
> > No easy method no. On the other hand one of the first things a deb
> > installer does is check to see if it can install. (meaning it has
> > enough space) and then bomb out if it doesn't.
> That'll do nicely.
> > I might be possible to unpack the deb and do some hand manipulation
> > (also involves a chicken bone and eye of newt at midnight.)  but no
> > easy way I know of.
> That's not a problem. I'm accustomed to passing dead chickens over the
> keyboard, and I know the "right" directory structure (TDS) and where to
> put it.

Then look into  google and methods for cracking open a deb.   It's pretty 
straight forward BUT you loss all install scripts.

> > Problem here is that the creators of deb/rpm/etc haved intentionally
> > pushed this function to the side to maintain ease of use for the
> > greatest number of users. Those of us who dare try the chicken bone
> > ritual are on our own.
> Absolutely. It's the one area where the otherwise intolerable Windows
> installation nov^H^H^Hwizards score: they *ask* where you want it put,
> which is precisely what most Unix users *don't* want to have to bother
> with. The problem only really arises on systems with very restricted
> internal (/usr/share, /usr/local) space (PDAs) but with potentially
> large volumes off to one side like /media. Perhaps it's time to suggest
> that .debs could provide installation parameters like
> filetree: texmf
> default-install-location: /usr/share
> alternate-install-location: /usr/local/share
> alternate-install-location: /mnt/*
> alternate-install-location: /media/*
> (the * meaning "prompt user"). Purists will hate the idea of initiating
> a dialog during an install, but for applications which have a very large
> data footprint like TeX, I think it's justifiable.

But allowing files all over the place violates the FHS.  and there is the 
nasty little problem of removal.  Even in windows land if you put it in 
the "wrong" place you pay a removal tax.  Linux doesn't (unless you a a 
gnomey) have a registry ... (thank god) and so when we remove things they are 
really gone not just removing a letter in a file name.  

The other option is to not use debs.  Build it from source and tarball it 
over.  then you get it where you want.  (I do ti all the time. on my laptop.)

> > oh and you can't execute a binary from the mmc cards by default either. 
> > File system mount thing.
> Ah. But presumably you can
> $ ln -s /media/disk1/texmf/bin/latex /usr/local/bin/
> (it certainly worked on the Zaurus).
Hence the word default.... It was meant as a heads up.  By defautl the dosFS 
is mounted ro not rw.  


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