When I create a rpm package with rpmbuild, I need to explicitly specify each file and directory I want to include in the package. Maximum RPM says that rpm has no way of tracking which files were installed by the package. When I create a deb package, dpkg-buildpackage assumes that the program was installed in the buildroot and simply wraps up everything in the buildroot. The effort shifts from manually recording the location of each installed file to making sure that all the files are installed in the buildroot (for example, using a make DESTDIR=$(buildroot) install). The latter approach seems much more convenient, especially when your package includes lots of files and directories. What is the advantage of requiring explicit file lists?