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“Hard to be Current” with OSS

January 26, 2017

As I mentioned in a tweet, ZLIB (aka libz) has been updated recently. I expect these sudden updates from version 1.2.8 to 1.2.10 were inspired by an audit performed at the request of MOSS/Secure Open Source.

Of the six audits MOSS/SOS has completed, two are now relevant for AIX, while a third may become relevant. The two I feel are relevant are zlib and curl, and I expect PCRE2 to become relevant. Since (even during) the audits new versions were or have been released.

The first audit initiated by MOSS/SOS was on pcre2. Basically, this audit was performed in the initial release of PCRE2 (versions pcre2-9.X was released in 2015).

PCRE2 is the version that is coming, i.e., where new features will be introduced. PCRE1 was first released in 1997, and is only being updated with security fixes (the latest being version 8.40, which was released on Jan. 11, 2017.

I follow OSS versions because I use these packages for my portals: www.rootvg.net and www.aixtools.net. This helps me to understand how hard it is to stay current - both with what is “installation-ready” as well as what I use (i.e., I am not always at the latest level – even after I have packaged it!).

I have the packages mentioned in this blog available for "as is" download. I package software as an exercise in self-learning. Making these “binaries” available is my humble attempt to share what I have learned. I respond to queries whether it’s on issues or requests (best effort).

I have two key goals when it comes to how I package OSS. These goals are driven by bad experiences “in the early days”. My “core goal” is what you install as an addition must be easy to remove, aka uninstall. A second goal is to be able to work in tandem with whatever you may already have from common sources of AIX software (IBM, perzl and/or bull). Again, the most important goal: what gets installed (as an extra) I must also be removable without breaking the current system. If this sounds interesting to you some examples can be found at:

For zlib: see http://www.aixtools.net/index.php/zlib
For curl: see http://www.aixtools.net/index.php/curl (or the curl download page at
http://curl.haxx.se/download.html)
For pcre: see http://www.aixtools.net/index.php/pcre

IBM and OSS for AIX

IBM is currently promoting YUM as an installation manager for AIX OSS software. (see https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/forums/html/topic?id=595f661f-d7bf-4e07-a296-1202751d30e2) Unfortunately, the initial release was a) only for AIX 7.2 and b) did not (maybe still does not) work consistently with any of the RPM packaged software already available – e.g., via Michael Perzl or BULL Freeware. And finally, if you read the link above – there are ‘other’ issues. While YUM may eventually be available (i.e., supported) for AIX 7.1 my preference is still for installp. If you want to open a discussion – please do!

Posted January 26, 2017 | Permalink

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