[OSGeo-Discuss] Request for a new project: GIS for Enterprise Linux

Mathieu Baudier mbaudier at argeo.org
Tue Jun 1 05:52:46 EDT 2010


we would like to set up a new project within the OSGeo Foundation
whose purpose would be to coordinate efforts around the packaging and
usage of GIS software on Enterprise Linux (EL), that is, Red Hat
Enterprise Linux and its community derivatives such as CentOS and
Scientific Linux.

We already had some discussions on the Live CD mailing-list and it was
recommended that we submit our proposal on this Discuss mailing-list.

I already described in great details on the Live CD mailing-list the
rationale and approach for such a project:

It boils down to:
- EL is a popular and robust platform for servers and computing-heavy
workstations, and is therefore a good fit for the specific
requirements of GIS

- stability and predictability is very important for EL users, but the
FLOSS GIS field is evolving fast, so a flexible approach will be
provided so that users can chose how to balance between stability and
the latest features

- a strong focus will be on integrating with and contributing to
existing efforts, namely:
  - the EPEL repository already provides quite a few GIS packages and
we will of course help maintaining them rather than maintain our own
packages (I was told by one of their main maintainers that such help
would be welcomed, this also implies coordination with the Fedora GIS
  - the Debian GIS project maintains a lot of GIS packages and is the
basis for the Ubuntu GIS effort: we will try to be consistent with the
versions they maintain and aim at interoperability between these
  - a lot can also probably be reused from the GIS LiveCD project
(hence the initial discussion on their list)

- we will also maintain an RPM repository for packages that cannot be
maintained in EPEL: e.g. because they require to update the base
system, or because we want to maintain many versions in parallel
(PostGIS 1.3/1.4/1.5 is an example)

During the last few months we successfully went through a proof of
concept, packaging and maintaining recent versions of some GIS
software on CentOS 5 (mainly PostGIS, QGIS, GRASS and their
(see at the end of the mail for details)

The initial spec files were contributed by another member of the
CentOS community and a few other people tested some of the packages.

Spec files and patches are versioned here:
and the builds are automated within a mock environment (build
dependencies installed from scratch in a rooted environment for each
new package build)

Having this effort under the aegis of the OSGeo foundation would allow
to widely communicate on it and interest more users.

What we would need in order to set up the project is:
- a formal approval from OSGeo (it is not clear to me whether
additional steps are needed)
- a dedicated Wiki page, describing the project, listing existing
efforts, gathering howtos, pointing to the specific RPM repo
- a dedicated mailing-list (as suggested in previous discussions)

In the short term, we (argeo.org) can continue to host the RPM
repository, the build process and the versioning of the spec files and
patches. In the future it may make sense to have the RPMs hosted by
osgeo.org or a standard FLOSS hosting (sourceforge or google code).

Please tell me if you need more details.
Your feedback is of course welcome as well as indications on how to
proceed with the next steps.



# EL GIS packaging proof of concept, current status

For the time being, only the latest versions have been rebuilt for EL 5.5:

Others are still available in the 5.4 repos:

(support for PostgreSQL 8.4 was introduced in EL 5.5, which implies
that PostGIS 1.4 and 1.5 moved from the GIS Plus repo to the GIS repo)

* Requiring no changes in the base distribution (depends on EPEL)
- gdal (1.6.3)
- geos (3.2.2)
- grass (6.2.3 and 6.4.0RC6)
- mapserver (5.6.3)
- postgis (1.3.6)
- proj (4.7.0)

* Requiring changes in the base distribution (depends on EPEL,
PostgresqlRPM (in 5.4) and Argeo Plus (for Qt4))
- qgis (1.0.2 and 1.4.0)
- postgis (1.4.1 and 1.5.1)

More information about the Discuss mailing list