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Why are the binary tarballs for Debian/Ubuntu the only ones provided officially for SageMath?

asked 2015-08-10 04:57:25 +0200

Fusion809 gravatar image

updated 2015-08-10 05:03:42 +0200

I have been wondering why the only binaries for SageMath that are provided officially via the Sage mirrors are for Debian/Ubuntu only. Like, I do understand that Debian and Ubuntu are amongst the most popular Linux distributions, but Arch Linux, CentOS, Fedora, Mageia, openSUSE, PCLinuxOS and Gentoo/Sabayon Linux also rank high in popularity amongst Linux distributions (according to DistroWatch, for example).

For Arch Linux there's a fairly up-to-date SageMath package in the official repository (here it is), but with SageMath 6.8 I noticed it lagged about 3 days behind the release of SageMath Linux binaries provided by the official mirrors.

I also wanted to know why Debian and Ubuntu binaries are provided as tarballs and not as the more easily-installed .deb package format.

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answered 2015-08-10 10:20:01 +0200

vdelecroix gravatar image


The reason why there are binaries for Debian/Ubuntu is because somebody is willing to make them at each release. It takes some time to find a good solution to make these binaries easily. But, as far as I understand, making the binaries themselves is relatively short. So the only reason why there is no other distros is by lack of volunteers. If you are interested in contributing please come in!

It might be doable to make .deb and I think this is a good suggestion. However, it is less flexible since you need to be administrator of your computer.


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How would I build a tarball binary for Fedora, for example? I'd like to give it a shot, but I'm a real programming noob. I know that from personal experience building SageMath on Fedora 22 from source code takes at least 8 hours for me and that's assuming absolutely nothing goes wrong in the process, will making the binary tarball be any faster?

Fusion809 gravatar imageFusion809 ( 2015-08-10 10:22:52 +0200 )edit

It is long to generate binaries and you can not avoid that. The subtle thing with generating binaries is that you need to guarantee that it was compiled on a minimal installation. If you are interested, the most appropriate would be to join the sage-devel mailing list.

vdelecroix gravatar imagevdelecroix ( 2015-08-12 21:53:07 +0200 )edit

Note. An effort to package Sage for Debian was restarted this summer. A new dedicated mailing list was created, called "debian-science-sagemath", see (note that there is also a sage-packaging mailing list on google groups).

slelievre gravatar imageslelievre ( 2016-08-18 15:28:55 +0200 )edit

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Asked: 2015-08-10 04:57:25 +0200

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Last updated: Aug 10 '15