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Package management for non-system locations [message #2241] Tue, 16 August 2005 19:09 Go to previous message
Christopher Huhn is currently offline  Christopher Huhn
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Registered: December 2003
Location: GSI Darmstadt
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From: lxdv17.gsi.de
Simon Lang, who coordinates the Hades software in /misc/hadessoftware, rose the issue of using a package management system for the software management.

After thinking about it for a while, I realized this problem might be tackled on a larger scale as it fits more use cases i.e. to clean up the software installation mess in /usr/local. Evil or Very Mad

I do not have any good solution yet, but these may be requirements for a package management system that installs to non-system locations:
  • Package installation shall be possible with normal user privileges
  • All parts of a software package must be installed below a single directory tree. No files should require to be installed in (/usr)/bin, /etc, /var or the like
  • Multiple versions of the same software shall be installed in different trees at the same time without interference/conflicts
  • The package database should also reside below this directory
  • Features as known from normal package managers should be available:
    • List package contents
    • List to which package a specific file belongs
    • Tell if a file has been modified since installation
    • Obey defined package dependencies
  • Maybe wishlist: allow interdependencies between different installation trees (maybe troublesome, but at least explicit)


My ideas on this matter by now are:
  1. Maybe there exists a solution (at another HEP institute)?
  2. Maybe dpkg can be modified to run no-root-privileges chroot or the like?
  3. Tackle this problem with a version control system and make heavy use of tagging and trunking? This may solve at least some issues.
  4. Maybe I install software you (we?) package into system locations instead? This is done by us anyhow, but multiple parallel versions of stuff are generally troublesome.


Did I forget something important?

What do you think?
 
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