Package conversion workaround

I recently discovered a useful workaround: Certain programs, like the free WYSIWYG website builder Mobirise, are only available for Debian/Ubuntu systems. However, when attempting to convert them using the package conversion tool Alien on other distros than Debian/Ubuntu, such as OpenSUSE, it is not always successful. When I tried converting Mobirise to an RPM on OpenSUSE using Alien, it couldn’t locate all the necessary resources in the expected locations. To overcome this, I installed Kubuntu on a spare, older drive. On Kubuntu, I used Alien to convert Mobirise to RPM format. There was only one problem: there was no description, but that was easily fixed.

As you found, Alien won’t always make for resolvable dependencies, as dependency names between distros can (and usually are) different.

Alien in and of itself is useful in a very small number of cases.

A better workaround is to use something like distrobox - which lets you create a container-based environment for many distributions in which you can install software for that distribution and run it, even if it’s GUI-based.


Thanks for the tip! Distrobox looks like it’s easy enough for most non-developers like me.

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