Subject: atomic pkgsrc
To: None <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: James K. Lowden <email@example.com>
Date: 05/12/2004 22:57:45
I spend quite a lot of time thinking about how to make pkgsrc easier to
administer. I've tried the sandbox, and I've read about pkgviews, but I
think I have a truly simple idea. It's so simple it must be wrong, and
I'd very much appreciate it if someone would explain why.
My main bugaboo with pkgsrc is yours, too, probably: the tearing down of a
working system for the prospect of a better one. I'm still running Moz
1.0 and <blush> Gnome 1.2 because rebuilding is such a pain. I've been
thinking about ways to build packages in a separate location. Then, when
all is ready, swap in the new stuff.
The installed locations of packages are controlled by:
X11BASE Where X11 is installed on the system.
LOCALBASE Where non-X11 based packages will be installed.
PKG_DBDIR Where package installation is recorded.
We can even ignore X11BASE if xpkgwedge is installed first.
Suppose on a freshly installed box I set:
and add two symlinks:
ln -s $LOCALBASE /usr/pkg
ln -s $PKG_DBDIR /var/db/pkg
It seems to me I can "make install" merrily with nary a soul minding.
Suppose later I decide it's time to upgrade. Rather than updating in
place, I adjust:
and rebuild everything from scratch (starting with xpkgwedge). When I'm
ready, I just update the symlinks and away we go.
Like I said, this is easy. It's almost atomic. Why won't it work?
The only thing I can see is that /etc (and maybe /var) might get modified.
But that's very rare, and I bet there's some magical attribute I could
use to prevent writing to those places, handling them specially.
Many thanks for your thoughts.