[ECFT] pkgng 0.1-alpha1: a replacement for pkg_install

Baptiste Daroussin bapt at FreeBSD.org
Fri Mar 25 10:11:17 UTC 2011

Hi all,

miwi@ launched the new thing called Experimental Call For Testing,
it's our turn :)

Julien Laffaye (jlaffaye@) and I, helped by Philippe Pepiot (huge
contributor) have been working since the end of the last GSoC on a
rewrite of pkg_install.

pkgng is a binary package manager written from scratch for FreeBSD.

After a long period of technology testing, (json, tinycdb, bdb, etc)
and we now have achieved to implement the basic functionnality. We
would greatly approciate to have some feedback, wider testing,
patching, documenting etc, before implementing the higher level

pkgng is built on top of a new libpkg, which allow to deal with the database of
installed packages, to deal with remote repositories, manage packages:
creation, installation gathering informations, registering new ports.

features supported are or will be :

- smooth integration with bsd.port.mk (including bsd.pkg.mk line 2486)
which allow  to have a bsd.port.mk which deal with both pkg_install
and pkgng. (done in alpha)

- the register command can analyse elf files when registering a new port to
discover forgotten dependencies if necessary. (done in alpha using libelf)

- the register command has two mode available : when dealing with old
fashion ports it just registers the package, in new mode it does
everything that would
have been done by pkg add when installing the package : should display
messages,  execute post-install, execute @exec etc. (old fashion done
in the alpha)

- pkg add supports two mode : the old fashion one (no real upgrade
support) and  new one: upgrade scripts supported. (old fashion in the

+POSTDEINSTALL, +PREUPGRADE, +POSTUPGRADE as well as the old fashion
scripts : +INSTALL +DEINSTALL +UPGRADE (all supported *UPGRADES aren't
supported in the alpha)

- new +MANIFEST (plist-like format) with new metadatas : options, arch, os
version, etc. (done in the alpha)

- pkgng supports checking arch of the package which means that users
won't be able to install sparc64 binary package into amd64 machines.
(not done yet)

- a special architecture "all" allows to specify when a package can be used
on every architecture. (not done yet)

- @dirrm and @dirrmtry are now deprecated, pkgng can discover itself
which directory has to be removed. (done in the alpha but needs love

- new repository (apt-like feature) (only the repository generation is done)

- real support for reverse dependency (no ugly +REQUIRED_BY) (done in the alpha)

- test unit (libcheck) on libpkg. (done in the alpha needs some more love)

- many more

 In term of technology we decided to use a sqlite3 database, and to
 prevent potential trolling, sqlite3 is used in it's amalgamation form
 which means it is incorporated in the code sources (as recommanded by
 sqlite developpers like a statically linked library) on build we only
 activate the features we need in sqlite.

 The alpha release come with an experimental tool "pkg2ng" to convert
 an existing package database to the new pkgng database format. So one
 can test pkgng without rebuild all its packages.

 One of the thing we are thinking about pkgng is to perhaps be able to
 provide it only as a ports (with simple script in base to
 boostrap/install it). That would allow pkgng to live with the ports to
 be able to easily integrate new features without having to support
 very old version of pkgng.

 pkgng is composed of :
 - a clean library "libpkg" that does all the work
 - a modern cli frontend (pkg) which accept subcommands, basically type
 pkg add, pkg info, pkg create etc. a dedicated subcommand exists for
 ports: pkg register which goal is to only supported adding to the
 database what is already installed.

 more informations can be found here:

 To download the alpha:

 Build it with debugging information:
 make DEBUG_FLAGS="-g -O0 -DDEBUG"

 Developpement site: http://git.etoilebsd.net/pkgng/
 IRC chan: #pkgng at freenode

 Beware that pkgng is in alpha states, it can kill kittens and eat
 puppies, and for sure it will do it so now you are warned.


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