Fedora RPMs - Alternatives



The alternatives system is a reimplementation of the Debian alternatives system. It was rewritten primarily to remove the dependence on perl; it is intended to be a drop in replacement for Debian’s update-dependencies script.

The Fedora distribution includes very useful the Alternatives System. The system is supported by the utility /usr/sbin/alternatives (AKA update-alternatives). The alternatives - maintain symbolic links determining default commands.

The NetBeans IDE assumes that several versions of the IDE can be installed on a system at the same time. Also, Linux native packages of the NetBeans provide facility to run the NetBeans IDE from the command line. The Alternatives System give ability for a user to make choice of the IDE version that will be started after execution of the command netbeans.

Since netbeans.spec, revision 2.fc10 the Alternatives System is used in the NetBeans RPM for Fedora as a start point to run the NetBeans IDE from the command line.


The netbeans.spec contains the following code:

%define __alternatives %{_sbindir}/alternatives

%define nb_              netbeans
%define nb_ver           6.1
%define nb_alt_priority  610
%define nb_home          %{_datadir}/%{nb_}
%define nb_dir           %{nb_home}/%{nb_ver}

%define nb_bin_dir       %{nb_dir}/bin
%define nb_launcher     %{nb_bin_dir}/netbeans


%{__alternatives} --install %{_bindir}/%{nb_} %{nb_} %{nb_launcher} %{nb_alt_priority}

if ["$1"="0" ]; then
    %{__alternatives} --remove %{nb_} %{nb_launcher}


Run the NetBeans IDE

The netbeans link is placed in the directory %{_bindir} (i.e. /usr/bin). Usually, this directory in the path ($PATH) by default. To start the NetBeans IDE from the command line simply use the command

$ netbeans

To get help use the command

$ netbeans --help

Display Alternatives

$ su -
# alternatives --display netbeans
netbeans - status is auto.
 link currently points to /usr/share/netbeans/6.1/bin/netbeans
/usr/share/netbeans/6.1/bin/netbeans - priority 610
Current `best' version is /usr/share/netbeans/6.1/bin/netbeans.

Info about the Alternatives System

$ man alternatives
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