fman is out on CentOS

fman 1.4.2 just came out. The main new feature is that it is now available on CentOS:

This had been requested by a user. It is the fourth Linux distribution supported by fman – after Ubuntu, Arch and Fedora.

Technically, CentOS is very similar to Fedora, so should have been easy to support. However, there were difficulties with its package management tools yum and rpm.

The first was that yum cannot follow double dots .. in repository paths. When you install fman on Linux, your package manager (apt, pacman, ...) first downloads a database file that contains the download URLs for all available versions. On Fedora, these URLs used to contain a relative path with double dots ... CentOS currently cannot handle such URLs. I believe the reason for this is that it still uses libcurl 7.29.0, and handling for .. was only added in version 7.32.0. To work around this limitation, fman's RPM repository now uses absolute URLs.

Code signing was the second problem: The standard on Linux is to use subkeys. These are cryptographic keys that are bound to a master key pair. Their advantage is that they can be revoked independently of their parent. Unfortunately, CentOS does not seem to support subkeys for code signing. When you tried to install fman, this made the code signature verification fail. The solution to this was to disable this check for the RPM repository. fman's installation files are transmitted over SSL anyways, and thus (reasonably) protected against tampering.

With these changes, which won't really affect you, you now get to enjoy fman on CentOS. Have fun!

Michael started fman in 2016, convinced that we deserve a better file manager. fman's launch in 2017 was a huge success. But despite full-time work, it only makes $350 per month. The goal for 2018 is to fix this.