Saturday, February 26, 2005

Linux package managers (& autopackage)

So, you're building a package for some Linux software you've written. Do you create a Debian package (also for Ubuntu), Redhat RPM (and separate Suse RPM if you're keen), Gentoo package (whatever that's in), Source RPM, .tar.gz archive, or all of the above? What a nightmare. Debian's "apt-get" is very nice, RPM's are well supported but not really as well supplied with meta-info. Plain source archives are the lowest common denominator but can be a real pain to get working with dependencies and differing target systems. Help!

Well now there's a possible solution nearing readiness. Autopackage is getting closer to v1.0 (so still in beta really) and hopes to solve all these problems by creating a distributable archive that can work with all the existing packaging systems to check dependencies and install files in the right places without problems. I haven't yet had a real look but it could be the answer to many people's prayers. Just one downloadable to develop, one package manager to understand? Great!

Even MS Windows apps can be confusing sometimes with all the archive formats, Windows Installer technology (often wrapped inside a .exe built from one of the many installation/configuration tools).

1 comment:

  1. I just used autopackage for the first time to install the newest version of Gaim (great little Instant-Messaging client that handles almost any type in one program).

    Ran like a dream. Sooooo easy it was scary. Download it, run it, it worked out what it needed to do, downloaded some stuff, and it was installed. Including start menu option.Quickly too. That's the way packages should be.