I find alien to be a very useful tool for converting and creating packages, however I have run into one problem: architecture-dependent files in TGZ archives. Because all TGZ files are treated as "noarch" the rpmbuild command will fail. I can two-step around this problem (assuming the objects in the package were compiled for the same architecture as I am running on) with: alien -r -g package.tgz; cd package; rpmbuild -bb package.spec --build-root=pwd

but ideally I would be able to do this all with alien. It would be nice to have a command-line parameter to change the target architecture used for rpmbuild. --Dan

If you are the original designer of alien, do you think, because of its experimental situation at the moment, alien will once - though perhaps very difficult - have a possibility - and possible with other programs - to convert an exe file into a deb or rpm file?

No. --Joey

When trying to convert Novell iFolder (http://sourceforge.net/projects/ifolder/) package to deb (according to http://www.x2b4.com/howto/how-to-install-ifolder-on-ubuntu-server/), but on Debian lenny - I'm getting messages like this:

syn:~# alien --scripts ifolder3-enterprise-

warning: ifolder3-enterprise- Header V3 DSA signature:NOKEY, key ID 3a9159a7

warning: ifolder3-enterprise- Header V3 DSA signature:NOKEY, key ID 3a9159a7

Unpacking of 'ifolder3-enterprise-' failed at /usr/share/perl5/Alien/Package/Rpm.pm line 155.

What am I doing wrong ?

rpm2cpio seems to be failing. Perhaps you need a newer version? If you pass the --veryverbose option to alien it will show you any error output from rpm2cpio, which should help. --Joey

I would like to run alien on OSX to convert a .deb to rpm using dpkg and rpm from MacPorts When I try to build alien make throws an error on blib something or other. If I try to just run alien.pl it fails saying it can't include Deb.pm

Any way to get this working on OSX?

  • Jonathan

I have an rpm that fails conversion with a dpkg-deb error: error in Version string ‘A.06.11-2’: version number does not start with digit. There is some discussion of this error at http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=620566. Apparently, dpkg now enforces some debian policies on version numbering. Current version of dpkg include a --force-bad-version flag, but it doesn't seem like there is a way to get alien to pass this flag onto deb, either during direct install or intermediate conversion to .deb. Any chance this flag could be added to alien?

This is fixed in 8.88. --Joey