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About adding new applications to RULE

Every now and then, end users ask to the RULE project: “will you please add this or that program to RULE?”. Almost always this means “will you change the install procedure to add program XYZ automatically? (making an RPM for it if needed)”. Quite often, however:

  • this could be not a good thing to do, but…
  • in order for you to use some program, there might be no need that RULE adds it to its install procedure.

This page explains why.

RULE is not a GNU/Linux distribution, but an alternative method to install and configure Red Hat or Fedora Core using the standard CD-Roms for those distributions. The software that does this must remain as small as possible in size for the simple reasons that many RULE users have no broadband, and that we have no manpower to develop and test all possible alternatives. Even the basic RULE system must remain as small as possible.

The good news is that, still because RULE is not a distribution, most of times the binary packages for the applications that you want already exist: either on the RH/FC CD-roms that you already had to have to install with RULE, or on some online repository. You only have to install them with the rpm command.

In general, the rule of thumb is that RULE will not add to its ISO applications for which RPM packages already exist, and will probably not add install menus suggesting for all the possible combinations of already existing stuff. For the reasons above, this means some extra manual configurations for the end user, but very seldom the impossibility to use some program.

The two main exceptions are:

  • when you are sure that there is no RH/FC package for some lightweight program, and that there are no equivalent lightweight applications in the existing RPM collections. Kdrive and i386 kernels fall in this category
  • when you see the need to {repackage} in a substantially different way some existing (group of) applications. An example of this are initiatives like [Mini-KDE->59].

Keep in mind that several programs are simply too big and complex ( or do too much complex things on intrinsically big data (the GIMP) to be made lighter by simply repackaging them…

We have also started a list of applications which users have asked to add to RULE. If the package you need doesn’t exist in RPM format, or is not listed in that list, by all means subscribe to our low volume mailing list and suggest it!

RULE = Run Up to Date Linux Everywhere
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