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[slightly going off-topic] Re: infrastructure change needed for python modules

Am Sat, 11 Dec 2021 20:48:37 +0100
schrieb Thomas Klausner <>: 

> Here's a post by a Gentoo developer on the same topic, without
> a solution.

This forwards me to a curious well-aged rant about package managers in

A rather entertaining rant, the whole blog seems to consist of those.
The view on language-specific package managers and even containers as
the ultimate sin for packaging looks quite fitting also for today, with
the additional hindsight that containers _really_ took off.

The point I want to make now: Michael points to Gentoo Prefix as the

This is the source-based packaging of the Gentoo Linux distribution
applied to other hosts by installing things into a prefix and some
level of relying on parts of the host OS or installing its own copy of
things like libc, even. I was not aware of that.

From the perspectiv of pkgsrc, this is somewhat funny, but more so sad
— ironic. Gentoo is something inspired by BSD ports for the Linux
world, then moving on to doing what pkgsrc does better since quite some
time. His proposed solution looks like another reinvented wheel. But
pkgsrc's publicity is somewhat lacking in the Linux world, compared to
Gentoo, which is widely known as _the_ source-based distro.

Never mind that another source-based distro of same if even older age
than Gentoo, Source Mage, supports installing into a different prefix
with its package manager since ages. Well, we all work past each other.
I was even using pkgsrc on Tru64 before starting with those
source-based Linux distros, to rediscover it later on aging Solaris and
CentOS hosts.

There might be/have been a time to popularize pkgsrc as the
cross-platform package manager. In fact, it should be rather trivial to
use it for container building instead of full-blown Linux distros that
get stripped of the actual OS part. But containers are an evil hack
anyway, right? My application in HPC does avoid having to containerize
everything by having pkgsrc prefixes to use for updated tools and
libraries. And no fiddling with root priviledges/suid binaries to boot!

I wonder how well a translation of Dockerfiles to bulk build
instructions would work;-)

Alrighty then,


Dr. Thomas Orgis
HPC @ Universität Hamburg

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