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Fat binary packages

An idea that's being tossed around on the RPM list is quite interesting, 
and should be followed and considered when it comes time to pick and 
enhance a packager:

Fat binary packages, similar to the fat binaries you find on Mac systems, 
are those with multiple architectures in one file.  At install time, the 
packager would determine which should be installed, and extract only the 
relevant portions of the larger package file for installation.

Using fat packages would be a huge advantage when it comes to supporting 
multiple architectures.  A single CD could be distributed with fat 
packages, x86 El Torito boot code, and floppy images for other machines.  I 
think we could easily fit x86, alpha, sparc, and maybe ppc packages all on 
the same CD, since the scope of SEUL is much smaller than Debian.

The reason fat packages would be useful, rather than simply including all 
the separate packages, is space.  Likely well over half (I haven't actually 
counted) of the volume of any given system is in architecture independent 
files, such as docs, config files, scripts, etc.  Using separate packages 
for each arch requires that all this information be duplicated many times.  
Fat packages, if done properly, could eliminate that.

Anyway, it's something to think about a little later.


     Erik Walthinsen <omega@seul.org> - SEUL Project system architect
       /  \                SEUL: Simple End-User Linux -
      |    | M E G A            Creating a Linux distribution
      _\  /_                         for the home or office user