is building a cross-distribution software packaging system.
The software is being built by
The autopackage FAQ
explains some of the project goals:
For users: it makes software installation on Linux easier. If a project provides an autopackage, you know it can work on your distribution. You know it'll integrate nicely with your desktop and you know it'll be up to date, because it's provided by the software developers themselves. You don't have to choose which distro you run based on how many packages are available.
For developers: it's software that lets you create binary packages for Linux that will install on any distribution, can automatically resolve dependencies and can be installed using multiple front ends, for instance from the command line or from a graphical interface. It lets you get your software to your users quicker, easier and more reliably. It immediately increases your user base by allowing people with no native package to run your software within seconds.
Autopackage aims to improve on some of the weaknesses of packaging
systems such as RedHat's RPM
RPM Package Manager:
"What RPM is not good at is non-core packages, ie programs available from the net, from commercial vendors, magazine coverdisks and so on. This is the area that autopackage tackles.
The use of autopackage involves the package command line
utility, or GTK2 and Qt versions of the Manger application.
The GUI interface is designed to resemble the
Windows InstallShield application. One-click package installation
that is similar to Linspire's commercial
(click and run) package system makes installations simple.
user interface vision document explains some of the interface
how to use document
presents a quick tour of the system, and the autopackage
show the software in action.
The autopackage system uses executable package files with the
.package suffix, the package format has been designed with
multiple distribution support as a primary feature.
Automatic dependency resolution is being addressed by the use of
Lib Update/AutoUpdate Suite.
Issues that need addressing with autopackage include
dealing with the upgrading of applications installed by other package
management systems, securely
managing the signing of packages in a decentralized package distribution
lack of a common desktop Linux platform definition, and
support for platforms other than X86 and X86-64.
The success of the project may largely depend on its adoption by
independent software applications designers. If a critical mass
of applications is reached, end users will have sufficient motive
to install the software, and the distribution vendors will have motivation
to include the system in their base systems.
Applications developers wishing to create .package files should review the
Packager QuickStart document.
A limited number of packages
are currently listed on the autopackage
Autopackage fills a software distribution niche between
distribution-specific packaged software and source code
that requires building by the end user. This seems like an area
that is fertile for development, developers of lesser-known
software applications would likely see their code more widely used
if they provided .package files.
Version 1.0.6 of autopackage
was announced this week, it includes bug fixes and other improvements.
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