I am involved in a project at the moment, wherein there are rpms installed on the RHEL 6, which do not belong to the original distribution. I have been vested with the task of finding out what are the latest and greatest versions of these rpms, which can go into RHEL 8? When I do a search by rpm name at RPM pbone.net for a specific rpm, say acroread, I also get results which have been tagged against OS versions other than versions of RHEL (for example, in the case of acroread, the search results show OpenSuSE et al., along with RHEL versions). So the question is: excepting the architecture (i.e., i686 or x86_64), would it be correct to assume that the latest and greatest rpm version shown against any of the other various OS versions can be considered for RHEL 8 as well?





Yes you can try, and it probably will work, but beware for more "complex" rpms that integrate with more other packages/dependencies that might differ between OS.

Longer explanation

Depending on the "complexity" of the rpms, you can consider using them. If these rpms just package a binary and a config file you won't experience any trouble. The trouble is that each os has its different habits of packaging, and so minor differences might cause trouble. I'm thinking of:

  • different package naming (imagine a dependency on rpm-a which is called rpm_a on OpenSuSe)
  • different dependencies present on the system (java8 vs java11, ...). These differences will be bigger the more the releases differ.
  • I once experienced a difference in the default nginx.conf file that was packaged differently in CentOS7 (or epel7) and RHEL7. I don't remember the details but it was a nasty surprise for two distributions that are very close to one another.
  • ...

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