FreePKG: An alternative to the pkg_* tools

Jeremy Lea reg at
Tue May 4 02:09:30 PDT 2004


Some time ago, I began to work on adding some features to the
pkg_install tools.  This work was mostly ignored by the FreeBSD
community (except for the bits stolen and committed without
attribution).  There was some interest from, but that
project has died...  I have continued to work on these tools however,
and have now registered a SourceForge project, as FreePKG.

FreePKG is an almost complete re-write of the pkg_* tools, aimed at
restructuring the code so that it is understandable and easy to use... 
It has the following features which are not available in the pkg_*

1. Uses LIB_DEPEND and RUN_DEPEND style dependencies in packages, so
   that you can run alternate versions, of say ghostscript, without
2. Can upgrade packages from one version to another. (So you don't have
   to reinstall when someone bumps a revision of something like glib). 
   This should also allow the tools to be used to install parts of
   /usr/src as packages, which are automatically upgraded during an
   installworld, removing old files.  (sendmail comes to mind).
3. Has a fairly carefully defined API to libfpkg, so that other programs
   can link with it and use it to install packages.  I'm hoping to start
   work on a GTK+ based package tool soon.
4. Additional features such as NetBSD's file.db support, so that the
   tools can quickly detect conflicts.

There is a patch for to.  I intend moving nearly all of the
INSTALL_SEQ and INSTALL_SU_SEQ targets into fpkg_create(1), so that it
can do all of the munging in /var/db/pkg, and all of the plist

I have no intention of initiating any attempt to get these tools
imported into FreeBSD.  I've decided on a very different approach to the
Ports/Packages collection to the way that things appear to be going. 
However, these tools are functional, and some people might find them
useful.  Additional developers/testers would be most welcome.

I've been able to spend some time working on them in the past few weeks,
and so they are currently in an alpha state, because I've changed a lot
of things around.  I am hoping to do a tarball release as soon as I
figure out the SourceForge system for doing that ;-)...

More info can be found at:


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