Quick Take: Installing Missing Packages with ZypperJune 14, 2009
OpenSuse 11.1 has added a nice touch for minimal installs: repository index to commands NOT installed. In a most client installations, we installed only minimal OS footprints to reduce size and attack surface. In the past, this has meant a trip to YAST to install “needed” packages that were not installed initially. While this is no big deal for OpenSuse vets, it can be a bit of a learning curve for clients.
Enter the repository index. Now, when a “missing” executable is attempted, the index is searched for the package containing the executable and guidance is offered on how to install it (assuming repositories are setup correctly.) Here’s a sample of how this works on a low attack surface DNS server missing a “whois” utility:
nsarpa:~ # whois supermicro.com The program 'whois' can be found in the following package: * whois [ path: /usr/bin/whois, repository: zypp (openSUSE 11.1-0) ] Try installing with: sudo zypper install whois -bash: whois: command not found nsarpa:~ # zypper install whois Retrieving repository 'openSUSE-11.1-Update' metadata [done] Building repository 'openSUSE-11.1-Update' cache [done] Loading repository data... Reading installed packages... Resolving package dependencies... The following NEW package is going to be installed: whois Overall download size: 51.0 K. After the operation, additional 152.0 K will be used. Continue? [YES/no]: YES Retrieving package whois-4.7.28-1.23.i586 (1/1), 51.0 K (152.0 K unpacked) Retrieving: whois-4.7.28-1.23.i586.rpm [done] Installing: whois-4.7.28-1.23 [done] nsarpa:~ # whereis whois whois: /usr/bin/whois /usr/share/man/man1/whois.1.gz
At this point the package containing the whois executable is installed and ready to return results. What was a somewhat cumbersome administrative process is now a relatively effortless one-step update.
SOLORI’s take: Ubuntu systems have had this ease of administration for some time; it’s about time OpenSuse started keeping pace to stay relevant for a change. OpenSuse – with its Microsoft alliance – is an excellent choice for Microsoft shops needing an Open Source operating system companion. This small but helpful update adds to OpenSuse’s already superb value.