Re: zypper and poky architectures

Mark Hatle <mark.hatle@...>

On 10/21/10 6:21 AM, Richard Purdie wrote:
On Thu, 2010-10-21 at 16:33 +0800, Qing He wrote:
I recently reported several zypper bugs specifically for arm, after
some deeper investigation, the problem seems to be of higher level than
I originally thought.

The root cause is that zypper and poky use different way to represent
architectures, as we are putting them together, these two ways are
not compatible, causing many minor glitches that need to modify at
least one of them.

Poky has three kinds of representations in a single target image, which
are independent, cpu-dependent and machine-dependent (all, armv5te,
qemuarm, respectively), e.g.


(note that armv5te is the same with gcc's -march option, meaning little
This is a good analysis and summary. It actually gets more complicated
as for some machines we have a long list of compatible package types
that can be installed, e.g. for qemuarm, if you list PACKAGE_ARCHES
you'll see armv4t armv5 armv5t armv5te which are all accepted by the
opkg backend.

This is natural until zypper is involved. Zypper supports only one arch
at one time (and this arch should not be changed in fly), and use the
idea of arch compatibility (e.g. _noarch is compatible with _i586), it
then hardcodes the available archs in a different way than poky does,
thus creating several problems:
1. what uses for independent packages is called "noarch", "all" is not
recognized, something depends on update-rc.d won't be installed
because of missing dependency
2. the arch automatic detection system uses "uname -m", thus producing
armv5tejl, which can only be resolved as armv5tel, conflicting with
"armv5te" in rpm
3. many archs are missing in zypper, like mips, armeb, etc.
4. there is no concept of machine-dependent packages (task-base) in
zypper, although we can work around.

Currently, at least zypper is broken on all of mips, arm, ppc, with
slightly different problems.

The ideal situation is to use consistent arch specification, the
following can be a solution:
1. rename *.all.rpm to *.noarch.rpm
This would only solve part of the problem though?

2. removing the concept of machine-dependent packages, change all
*.qemuarm.rpm to *.armv5te.rpm
This could mean making a copy of each rpm per machine so I'm not keen on

3. enhance zypper arch module, make the addition more flexible,
allowing arch alias (e.g. armv5te = armv5tel = armel = arm)

That would be some work to do, maybe 1.0 is a good time to get zypper
and package upgrade truely working.

Any ideas and comments?
I think we're going to have to teach zypper to read a list of compatible
"architectures" from a configuration file. There is a config file opkg
writes to the filesystem continaing this list and we'll have to do
similar for RPM.

It does raise the question of how given two possible rpm's it would
chose between the two (for opkg, the list is in order).

Is the problem just in zypper and is rpm free from any issues in this
We will need to do some additional verification on RPM -- but it appears to me that RPM should not have a problem with this. As far as I'm aware, RPM5 simply ignores the ARCH field for the most part. (My concern as we move in this direction will be ordering of priority between architecture types.. perhaps thats not even in the scope of RPM to worry about... but replacing say an armv4 w/ an armv5 is...)




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