Chapter 10 Packaging and Distributing Applications

With the increasing trend toward consolidation by the use of virtualization, system administrators have to manage large volumes of software, often with complex interdependencies, on a wide range of hardware platforms. Keeping such systems, with complex software dependencies on varied hardware platforms, running smoothly is a complex and challenging task. The proper management of system software can help ensure a well-known, tested, and consistent system state across the systems in the data center. For most enterprise-level IT organizations, a significant effort is required to upgrade the operating system software to the appropriate patch levels for bug fixes, security updates, and new hardware driver support.

While a simple application typically consist of only a few executable files, most enterprise software applications are more complex, consisting of many executable files, libraries, scripts, configuration files, and documentation notes and guides. All these files are delivered via a package that includes information about where to place the files in the file system and the permissions they should be assigned. There are many choices of packaging format and some are easier to use than others. The packaging mechanism that you should use to deliver an application depends on the requirements of the application as well as upgrade and maintainability considerations. Simple packaging requirements can be met by using a simple packaging mechanism such as a tarball, or you might need to use a complex and advanced packaging mechanism such as RPM.

This chapter provides an overview of how to administer and create RPMs on Oracle Linux. It also provides links to more information about the Oracle Enterprise Manager and Spacewalk IT management products that you can use to create and deploy software packages for your systems.