Annoucning DragonFly BSD!

Jon Disnard diz at
Sat Jul 19 15:26:45 PDT 2003

Matthew Dillon wrote:
>     A Packaging system is a very important piece of any distribution.  Our
>     goal will be to create a packaging system that, via VFS 'environments',
>     causes any particular package to see only the dependancies that it
>     depends on, and the proper version of said dependancies as well.  Multiple
>     versions of third party apps that normally conflict with each other could
>     be installed simultaniously.  The packaging-system-controlled VFS
>     environment would also hide everything a package does not depend on,
>     like other libraries in the system, in order to guarentee that the
>     dependancies listed in the packaging system are in fact what the
>     application depends on.  There's no point in having a packaging system
>     that can't detect broken and incorrect dependancies or we wind up with
>     the same mess that we have with ports.

Wouldn't it be possible to achive the same result without the VFS with 
well organized lib subdirs? like "usr/lib/xyzlib1.2/" and 
"usr/lib/xyzlib1.3/" which would maintain the install for any given 
version of a lib? In other words, instead of just dumping all the libs 
into the one place, you simply place them into sub folders instead and 
then link them as needed? Granted this would cause havoc for things like 
LD_LIBRARY_PATH. I never did like the way we dump things in the lib 
dir's, its messy. The VFS idea is interesting, but it like cleaning the 
mess by sending parts of the big mess into another dimention, making it 
a trans-dimentional mess (technically a larger mess). This throws away 
the KISS principle.

>     To make this work the VFS environment would have to be able to run as
>     a userland process.  Otherwise we would never be able to throw in the
>     type of flexibility and sophistication required to make it do what we
>     want it to do, and the kernel interfacing would have to be quite robust.
>     I want to make these environments so ubiquitous that they are simply
>     taken for granted.  Begin userland VFSs with the capability of
>     overlaying the entire filesystem space, these environments would be
>     extremely powerful.

I suspect this ability would usefull for other things too, possibly for 
security lock-downs on shell users env's without chrooting them as an 


>     It might be possible to build this new packaging system on top of the
>     existing ports infrastructure.  It will be several months (possibly
>     6-12 months) before the kernelland is sufficienctly progressed to be
>     able to imlpement the userland VFS concept so we have a lot of time to
>     think about how to do it.
> 					    -Matt
> 					    Matthew Dillon 
> 					    <dillon at>
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