PackagingDrafts/ArchSpecificRequires

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This page is a draft only
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Rationale

rpm/yum treat a dependency (Requires) on “foo” as satisfiable by any available foo, regardless of architecture. The consequence of this is that on multilib systems, when the architecture of a dependency has not been specified (even though it is important), yum can install the wrong architecture build of the dependency—resulting in, most likely, a nonfunctional installation. This can happen when, for some reason, the correct architecture is not available to yum or (somewhat more importantly) the opposite arch. than the one desired is already installed.

Making Requires Arch-Specific

Explicit requires must be made arch-specific by appending the macro %{?_isa} to the package name. For instance,

Requires: foo

becomes

Requires: foo%{?_isa}

...full documentation can be seen at The rpm Wiki page, on Arch requires.

When To Do It

If a dependency really can be satisfied by a build for any architecture, clearly there's no reason to make the dependency architecture-specific. But it does matter in these scenarios:

  • A library in the dependency is dlopen'd.
  • A non-noarch -devel package depends on another -devel package.
  • A non-noarch subpackage's dependency on its main package (Eg. libfoo-devel depends on libfoo).

So, unless you have a very good reason to not make an explicit dependency architecture specific (and if so, be sure to document it in the spec file with a comment), you MUST do it.