xfce Package Manager

Tim Tassonis timtas at cubic.ch
Sat Oct 18 11:40:52 CEST 2014

On October 18, 2014 10:23:41 AM Anders F Björklund <afb at algonet.se> wrote:

> Tim Tassonis wrote:
> > Hi everybody
> Hello there!
> > I'm currently writing a package manager (like rpm or deb) and would also
> > like to have a GUI for it. As I'm not the most proficient gui
> > programmer, I wanted to ask if somebody has already started something
> > like this, so I could adapt it to my needs, or knows of an existing one
> > where I could "get some ideas" from (e.g rip out the actual package
> > managing library calls and replace them with mine)?
> >
> > The requirements would be:
> >
> > - GTK2/3, no Gnome stuff
> > - C Application no python interpreter stuff
> I'm not sure what the world needs most is yet another package manager,
> but if you want some ideas you can take a look at the Smart project ?

You're probably dead right, but I'm writing one anyway, for educational 
purposes and because I'm about to create my own distro. Now, that's 
definitely what the world has been waiting for, I know...

> It is currently written in Python, though, so it might not fit your
> requirements. But it presents a GTK+ interface, on top of rpm and deb.
> http://github.com/smartpm/smart
> There's also a panel plugin, for displaying update status in the panel.
> So that you know when there are updates available. It's over on Goodies.
> http://goodies.xfce.org/projects/panel-plugins/xfce4-smartpm-plugin

Sounds nice, apart from the python part.

> Otherwise gslapt for slapt-get seems to be most like to what you want,
> it's an interface written in GTK for a package manager written in C...
> http://software.jaos.org/
> Or perhaps even look at the oldest of them all, the venerable Synaptic.
> But it is written in C++, not C, so doesn't fit language requirements.
> http://www.nongnu.org/synaptic/
> > The GUI would really not have to do any lowlevel stuff, this is all
> > written in a library, but display contents, list packages and start
> > actions (install/remove) and display the progress in a terminal window.
> The biggest issue here is that the GUI won't have any extra privileges.
> And normally you can't install/remove anything, without authentication ?
> This is why a lot of the existing applications use a client/server setup
> or something like DBUS to send messages from a frontend to a backend...
> In the old days you would run the entire application with setuid/gksudo,
> but that is not allowed anymore (being a security risk, running as root)

Do you mean that this doesn't work anymore, or that it's just discouraged? 
I wouldn't mind the latter.

> If you don't want to write such a setup, you might look into writing a
> new PackageKit GTK GUI and providing a backend for your package manager.
> http://www.freedesktop.org/software/PackageKit
> The daemon is written in C (with glib/dbus), so would fit your language.
> But the official graphic interfaces are very much GNOME and KDE only...
> (I do believe there used to be at least some code examples using GTK+
> but the shiny new 3.14 version is all GNOME 3 and systemd and similar)
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNOME_Software
> BTW:
> Most users don't like it when you throw a terminal window in their faces
> instead of a nice progress bar but even Ubuntu does it so it must be OK.
> The Fedora Xfce spin uses Yum Extender in PyGTK for a graphic interface.
> --anders

Well, thanks a lot for your help, that will certainly give me a lot to look at.

Tim _______________________________________________
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