I wonder why does alien need sudo privileges while converting a .rpm file to .deb in a non-privileged directory(eg. my home directory).

Is this a security feature(which I believe is redundant, since installing the package would need dpkg, which needs sudo privileges)?

  • Probably just an oversight as in general you should not need to run as root to convert. With that said, IMO alien should be used only as a last resort. Build from source if at all possible. rpm do not always easily convert to .deb due to naming of libraries, installation scripts, dependency checking, etc. – Panther Oct 14 '13 at 18:56
  • Please mention the reason before flagging to be closed. – jobin Oct 14 '13 at 18:56
  • You should probably file a bug report against alien as yours is not really a technical question. – Panther Oct 14 '13 at 18:57
  • @bodhi.zazen: I need to know if this is a bug and not a misunderstanding. – jobin Oct 14 '13 at 18:58
  • 1
    Close voters: This is a good question with a good answer, there is no need to close it. – Seth Nov 27 '13 at 4:01

Because packages can contain files owned by different users and I believe the conversion process extracts the files and then builds a .deb from there. Setting the permissions on the extracted files requires root access.

Note that you should be able to use fakeroot to work around this.

| improve this answer | |
  • Because packages can contain files owned by different users - which files, for example? – jobin Oct 15 '13 at 5:10
  • @Jobin, all of them? Most files are owned by root, some are owned by other system accounts. None of them are going to be owned by your uid. – psusi Oct 15 '13 at 13:45

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