Massively porting FOSS for OpenSolaris 2008.11 /pending and /contrib repositories

Today is the official release of OpenSolaris 2008.11, including commercial support.

Along with OpenSolaris 2008.11 we're also publishing new repositories full of various open source software built and packaged for OpenSolaris:

  • A pending repository with 1,708 FOSS pkgs today, and many more coming. This is "pending" in that we want to promote the packages in it to the contrib repository.
  • A contrib repository with 154 FOSS pkgs today, and many more coming soon.

These packages came from two related OpenSolaris projects in the OpenSolaris software porters community:

The two projects focus on different goals. Here I describe the work that we did on the PkgFactory/Roboporter project. Our primary goal is to port and package FOSS to OpenSolaris as quickly as possible. We do not yet focus very much on proper integration with OpenSolaris, such as making sure that the FOSS we package is properly integrated with RBAC, SMF, Solaris audit facilities, with manpages placed in the correct sections, etcetera, though we do intend to get to the point where we do get close enough to proper integration that the most valuable packages can then be polished off manually, put through the ARC and c-team processes, and pushed to the /dev repository.

Note, by the way, that the /pending and /contrib repositories are open to all contributors. The processes involved for contributing packages to these repositories are described in the SW Porters community pages, so if there's something you'd like to make sure that your favorite FOSS is included you can always do it yourself!

The 154 packages in /contrib are a representative subset of the 1,708 packages in /pending, which in turn are a representative subset of some 10,000 FOSS pkgs that we had in an project-private repository. That's right, 10,000, which we built in a matter of just a few weeks. [NOTE: Most, but not all of the 1,708 packages in /pending and 154 in /contrib came from the pkgfactory project.]

The project began with Doug Leavitt doing incredible automation of: a) searching for and downloading spec files from SFE and similar from Ubuntu and other Linux packaging repositories, b) building them on Solaris. (b) is particularly interesting, but I'll let Doug blog about that. With Doug's efforts we had over 12,000 packages in a project-private IPS repository, and the next step was to clean things up, cut the list down to something that we could reasonably test and push to /pending and /contrib. That's where Baban Kenkre and I jumped in.

To come up with that 1,704 package list we first removed all the Perl5 CPAN stuff from the list of 12,000, then we wrote a utility to look for conflicts between our repository, the Solaris WOS and OpenSolaris. It turned out we had many conflicts even withing our own repository (some 2,000 pkgs were removed as a result, if I remember correctly, after removing the Perl5 packages). Then we got down and dirty and did as much [very light-weight] testing as we could.

What's really interesting here is that the tool we wrote to look for conflicts turned out to be really useful in general. That's because it loads package information from our project's repo, the SVR4 Solaris WOS and OpenSolaris into a SQLite3 database, and analyzes the data to some degree. What's really useful about this is that with little knowledge of SQL we did many ad-hoc queries that helped a lot when it came to whittling down our package list and testing. For example: getting a list of all executables in /bin and /usr/sbin that are delivered by our package factory and which have manpages, was trivial, and quite useful (because then I could read the manpages in one terminal and try the executables in another, which made the process of light-weight testing much faster than it would have otherwise been). We did lots of ad-hoc queries against this little database, the kinds of queries that without a database would have required significantly more scripting; SQL is a very powerful language!

That's it for now. We'll blog more later. In the meantime, check out the /pending and /contrib repositories. We hope you're pleased. And keep in mind that what you see there is mostly result of just a few weeks of the PkgFactory project work, so you can expect: a) higher quality as we improve our integration techniques and tools, and b) more, many, many more packages as we move forward. Our two projects' ultimate goal is to package for OpenSolaris all of the useful, redistributable FOSS that you can find on Sourceforge and other places.


I'm impressed noone packaged postfix yet, it would be a great addition to opensolaris, a modern MTA to replace sendmail

Posted by nacho on December 10, 2008 at 08:36 AM CST #

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I'm an engineer at Oracle (erstwhile Sun), where I've been since 2002, working on Sun_SSH, Solaris Kerberos, Active Directory interoperability, Lustre, and misc. other things.


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