Subject: Re: Package config/var file paths proposal
To: Hubert Feyrer <>
From: Jim Wise <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 01/09/1999 15:29:08

On Sat, 9 Jan 1999, Hubert Feyrer wrote:

>On Sat, 9 Jan 1999, Soren S. Jorvang wrote:
>> However, there might be some value in creating a "dummy" pkg for all
>> the system-supplied files. The reverse-mapping you (Hubert) have
>> been talking about could be used to say 'this is a system file' and
>> we would get MD5 checking "for free".
>IIRC, Jim Wise wanted to look into that. I don't know what came out of

This is progressing, albeit slowly.  On an experimental basis, I have
created system packages for X11, games, and some other system sets, and
am working on getting a few more done, so that we have a corpus to work
with as we try to get sysinst and other tools to understand packages.

I will post a summary of my progress on this as soon as I get back home
(Adriana and I are currently staying with my father, as our first child
was just born and we know and trust the hospital up here), but the basic
gist is (to summarize the thread on this from september -- check the
list archive for my full proposal:

	* The entire system will be installed from `system packages'
	  of relatively fine granularity.  No system package will
	  install files into more than one of /, /usr, /usr/X11R6,
	  /var, and /usr/share.  These system packages will have the
	  same format as current packages, and will use the package
	  dependency mechanism, etc. just as current (3d-party)
	  packages do.

	* Packages will be grouped into `package sets', which will be
	  identical in content to our current distribution sets.
	  Theses sets serve the purpose of: a.) allowing installation
	  at set granularity, as is done now -- in fact this will be the
	  default case to avoid the Linux `pick from millions of tiny
	  packages' problem and b.) reducing the necessary downloads
	  to a few large files which can be easily verified/transported/
	  DOS 8+3-ified, etc.
	* When building distribution sets, packages will be built out
	  of a new hierarchy, src/distrib/pkgsets, which will be
	  subdivided by set, and each set by package.  The package
	  directories will resemble our current 3d-party pkgset
	  directories, and will be used to build packages based on the
	  files in DESTDIR.  A `make distrib' in src/distrib/pkgsets
	  will recurse through, finally resulting in package sets.

	* Sysinst will use package sets instead of our current sets
	  to install the system.  Now, however, a user will have the
	  option of `zooming in' on a package, and choosing at set

Currently, my goal is to get the creation of system packages from 
DESTDIR working properly, as this is needed before we can look at
implementing the other steps.

				Jim Wise

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