xfce Package Manager

Anders F Björklund afb at algonet.se
Sun Oct 19 16:07:33 CEST 2014

Tim Tassonis wrote:

>> 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...

Right, it seems that for some reason every distribution needs another
package manager. Or for that matter, another software packaging effort.
Efforts like PackageKit are all about trying to "hide" the diversity,
and not about using similar packaging format or one package repository.

If you look at the main distributions, even _finding_ the packages is
getting harder. It's all about "apps" these days, and bundling the deps.
Some take the view that if you want to see details, you need the CLI.
The GUI is about abstraction, and providing a "store" with reviews etc.

Personally, I think many like Synaptic for same reasons they like Xfce.

And that is why many Xfce distributions come with a Synaptic-like tool.

>> 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.

The panel plugin is in C, but on the other hand not updated in years...
Not that the main project is either, the whole idea of cross-distro died.

>> 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.

Think that depends on your distro, but at least in GTK2 it still "works".
It is discouraged, but not prevented. See http://www.gtk.org/setuid.html

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

I don't think that an "official" Package Manager is within scope of Xfce ?
But it would still be "nice to have" a simple GTK+ frontend to PackageKit.


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