Ximian's Redcarpet is a free alternative to RedHat Network for easily locating, downloading, and installing package updates to your Linux system. Redcarpet is available for all of the RPM-based distributions; I have used it successfully under RedHat 7 and 9, Mandrake 9 and 10, and Fedora Core 1 and 2. Redhat/Fedora-specific details will be described here, but the steps are largely the same for all RPM-based distros.
Note that redcarpet, like RHN and Debian's apt-get, can only install and update packages within the standard distribution tree for your distro (plus whatever other channels you choose to subscribe to -- more on this later.) In other words, redcarpet won't know how to update programs that were installed from source, or were custom-built or modified RPMs.
redhat-release (to determine your version; I assume other distros have an equivalent package)
gnupg (to verify downloaded packages)
Steps to install and use redcarpet:
At the time of this writing, RC 2 is available for the following distros/versions:
fedora-1-i386 fedora-2-i386 (but get it from slightly.off.net -- see refs for link) mandrake-91-i586 mandrake-92-i586 redhat-72-i386 redhat-73-i386 redhat-80-i386 redhat-9-i386 rhel-21as-i386 rhel-21es-i386 rhel-21ws-i386 rhel-3as-i386 rhel-3es-i386 rhel-3ws-i386 sld-10-i586 sles-8-i386 sles-8-ppc sles-8-s390 sles-8-s390x suse-82-i586 suse-90-i586 suse-91-i586
RC 1 is available for:
debian-potato-i386 debian-woody-i386 mandrake-81-i586 mandrake-82-i586 mandrake-90-i586 mandrake-91-i586 redhat-62-i386 redhat-71-i386 redhat-72-i386 redhat-73-i386 redhat-80-i386 redhat-9-i386 rhel-21as-i386 rhel-21es-i386 rhel-21ws-i386 sld-1-i586 sld-10-i586 slec-1-i586 sles-8-i386 suse-73-i386 suse-80-i386 suse-81-i386 suse-82-i586
As you can see, there is some overlap of the two rc versions; again, use rc 2 if you can.
The rest (rcd-devel, libredcarpet, libredcarpet-tools, and libredcarpet-python) are for redcarpet software development.
The minimum packages you need are rcd and rug. I have not really used the GUI client.
Note: In all the examples below, commands I typed are left-justified, and output is indented.
sudo /etc/init.d/rcd start
The daemon should now be connected to the redcarpet servers (which are synchronized nightly with the official mirrors of all the supported distros). Now, issue the following commands, as root:
This will download the most current channel information. NOTE if you're using Fedora Core 2, you may need to issue this command first:
rug service-add http://slightly.off.net/rc-fc2
After the refresh is complete, run
This should show a list of available "channels" (software distribution trees) and whether or not you're subscribed to them. It will look something like this:
[root@localhost root]# rug channels subd? | Alias | Name ------+------------------------------+--------------------------------------- | evolution-devel-snapshot | Evolution Development Snapshot | evolution-snapshot | Evolution Snapshot | redcarpet | Red Carpet | redcarpet2 | Red Carpet 2 | redhat-9-i386 | Red Hat Linux 9 | ximian-connector | Ximian Connector | ximian-connector-devel-snaps | Ximian Connector Development Snapshots | xd2 | Ximian Desktop 2 | ximian-evolution | Ximian Evolution | mono | mono | ooo-snapshot | ooo-snapshot | rcd-snaps | rcd snapshots [root@localhost root]#
If instead you get the following error:
ERROR: Unable to connect to the daemon: (111, 'Connection refused') ERROR: Please ensure that the service is running.
Then (re)start rcd and try again. If you still get the error, and you know rcd is running, wait a minute or so and try again; sometimes there is a delay because the Ximian servers are overloaded.
Now, choose the channel(s) you want to subscribe to. For example, from the list above, I might do:
rug sub redhat-9-i386 Subscribed to channel 'redhat-9-i386' rc sub redcarpet2 Subscribed to channel 'redcarpet2'
If it says "Warning: Invalid channel: 'whatever'" then check the spelling and try again. Type "rug channels" again to see that you're subscribed (a "Yes" in the "subd?" column.) If you want to unsubscribe from a channel, type "rug unsub channelname".
NOTE If you're using slightly.off.net for Fedora Core 2, there are several channel choices. What you choose to subscribe to, depends on how bleeding-edge you want to be; the ones I use are
fedora-2-i386-mirror fedora-stable fedora-updates rcfc2
Your mileage may vary.
rc update -y
The -y option tells rug to just go ahead, rather than prompt you to approve each update. If it says "No packages to update", then your versions are up-to-date (at least, according to the redcarpet channel list).
When you run the update command, redcarpet will compare your installed RPM versions with the current ones on its mirror server. It will then download any newer versions, verify them, resolve and download/verify any dependencies, and install the RPMs for you. It will print the list of packages it's installing.
5 0 * * * sleep $[ $RANDOM / 16 ] ; rug update -y | mail -s "rcd update for `hostname`" email@example.com
This will cause the rug update command to be run every day at 5am plus a random interval of minutes (this way, if you place this cron job on several servers, they won't all update simultaneously and choke your/Ximian's bandwidth too horribly.)
rug install packagename
If there are dependencies, it will resolve them.
If you don't know the exact name of a package you need, you can search for it. For example, if I wanted to install a source package and it whined about needing some libgtk-126.96.36.199.5.blah thing, I might try
rug install libgtk-188.8.131.52.5.blah ERROR: Unable to find package 'libgtk-184.108.40.206.5.blah' in any subscribed channel
Bummer. Let's try
rug search libgtk-220.127.116.11.5.blah --- No packages found ---
Darn! Okay, how about
rug search gtk S | Channel | Name | Version --+---------------------+------------------+-------------------- | Ximian Evolution | libgtkhtml3.0_2 | 3.0.9-0.ximian.6.1 | Evolution Snaps | libgtkhtml3.0_2 | 2004-02-19, 07:59 | Ximian Evolution | libgtkhtml3.0_4 | 3.0.10-0.ximian.6.1 | Evolution Snaps | libgtkhtml3.0_4 | 2004-05-02, 06:58 | Evolution Dev Snaps | libgtkhtml3.1_10 | 2004-06-26, 06:27 | Evolution Dev Snaps | libgtkhtml3.1_11 | 2004-08-05, 06:30 | Evolution Dev Snaps | libgtkhtml3.1_3 | 2004-03-04, 19:14 | Evolution Dev Snaps | libgtkhtml3.1_6 | 2004-04-02, 15:55 | Evolution Dev Snaps | libgtkhtml3.1_7 | 2004-05-17, 12:48 | Evolution Dev Snaps | libgtkhtml3.1_9 | 2004-06-02, 14:42
Aha! You can do partial searches like this with redcarpet to track down packages whose name doesn't precisely match what you're looking for. Also, you can do "rug search packagename" to see if you already have the package installed or not.
Another useful redcarpet feature is the file-list option:
rug file-list wget /etc/wgetrc /usr/bin/wget /usr/share/doc/wget-1.8.2 ...
This only works for packages you have installed, as far as I can tell. It lists all the files that were installed from the RPM.
To get a summary of a package (installed or no), you can type:
rug info evolution Using evolution 1.4.5-7 from the 'fedora-1-i386' channel Name: evolution Version: 1.4.5 Release: 7 Installed: No Package size: 10173671 Summary: GNOME's next-generation groupware suite Description: Evolution is the GNOME mailer, calendar, contact manager and communications tool. The tools which make up Evolution will be tightly integrated with one another and act as a seamless personal information-management tool.
You can use redcarpet to find out which package installed a particular file on your system. For example, if I wanted to know which package installed /etc/mime.types, I'd type
rug package-file /etc/mime.types mailcap 2.1.14-1.1
rug packages channelnamewill output a list of all available packages in that channel, and tell you which ones you have installed. Pipe this to grep to look for packages (alternate to using rug search).
There are lots of other options and tricks available; these are just the simplest ones. Type just "rug" by itself to see these plus some other basic commands; try "rug help" for a very extensive list of commands and options.