Inside the Image Packaging System

Stephen Hahn, Bart Smaalders, and Danek Duvall talk about the new OpenSolaris Image Packaging System that enables users and developers to get the software they need when they need it. IPS is also a new tool for community growth as developers around the world build and maintain packages and contribute the software to the network repository. To contribute, go to the IPS project.
Comments:

Pray, please explain how Sun plans to involve the community with IPS ?

As I see it, IPS is by design not a system like Debian dpkg with a dput to leverage and involve the community. It is a tool typical of the sun mindset - a mechanism to throw binary bits over the wall. And its not even well designed to do that. How do I downgrade a package for example ?

This one badly designed tool might end up sinking Solaris as a whole.

Posted by NoBullShit on May 11, 2008 at 05:23 PM JST #

I'm a fan of packaging tech, so I spent a few minutes browsing the links, but I didn't find the raison d'etre of this new packaging system. Is there a page somewhere that says "why we invented this one instead of using XYZ"?

There are widely-used tools (the leader is .deb/dpkg/apt-get/other apt tools), and there are creative new ideas such as Nix -- http://nixos.org/ .

Then there is the nascent idea of making your decentralized revision control tool (e.g. Mercurial) be your package management system. Oh, that would be interesting.

What's this about someone evaluating Conary for opensolaris?

http://opensolaris.org/os/project/conary-eval/;jsessionid=7199FD96F23203E5E01F1A028F67F6B7

Is that alternative to Image Packaging System or is that page obsolete?

Anyway, I'm perfectly happy with Nexenta, which uses .deb/apt (which is the gold standard among all sysadmins and most programmers of my acquaintance), and which adds the beautiful feature of ZFS-based undo.

I would be surprised if there is anything in Image Packaging System which is better than Nexenta, and if there is, they've certainly failed to communicate it.

Posted by Zooko on May 13, 2008 at 02:43 PM JST #

hey, guys, you are asking some questions I can't answer directly. Sorry. I'm not involved at that level with the packaging project itself and I'm afraid my answers would be a tad superficial. I suggest you check in on pkg-discuss http://mail.opensolaris.org/mailman/listinfo/pkg-discuss and/or indiana-discuss http://mail.opensolaris.org/mailman/listinfo/indiana-discuss. Both are pretty active lists with core kernel developers on them. There are also links at the project page http://opensolaris.org/os/project/pkg/. As far as contributing, we have to get better about documenting all the ways to contribute on the project, and we are working on that now. But I think the pkg guys are pretty engaging so I'm sure they'd welcome your participation.

Posted by Jim Grisanzio on May 14, 2008 at 11:06 AM JST #

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