As the local Red Hat whore on just about all Linux forums, I found early on that for package management, RPM is the easiest all around. RPM got a bad name when moron packagers that, quite bluntly, were non-qualified to tie their shoes muchless package, were distributing software. Enter dep hell real fast with one of them rpms. Now just go get rpmfuision, google, and if need be adobe, and you are golden. And take note that iff Red Hat wasn't the king at the time, rather Debian or Slackware (really, at that time, those were the only others of any noteworthiness), Debian or Slack would be mislabelled as having the crap package management system instead.
Now, if you are into actually packaging up stuff, read over here:
and most importantly:
Thats how to do RPMs. It really all boils down to doing the following.
1) Hack up a proper .spec file if it isn't provided in the tarball
2) Make the srpm
3) Make the rpm
Nice eh? Once you do a spec file or three, its EASY. Really easy. Makes you wonder how we did crap in the stone age.
Now try that with debs. Yeah, you get 75 sites that have all the same crud for info. It took me 2 years of looking and failing before a dev over at Linspire finally had been unlucky enough to offer aid. We were both amazed at how god awful it was. I made one, luckily it worked. And I vowed never again. Screw that.
So do yourself a favor and learn at least the basics, and then the less than basic. There isn't much difficulty in RPM. And since the glory is that in one specfile, you can make it so you can build for Red Hat, Fedora, SLED, SLES, OpenSUSE, and Mandriva --- thats a pretty cool thing. And just yum/rpm is so much more elegant too.