The state of universal packaging in Debian

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The state of universal packaging in Debian

Postby rosedovell » 2016-06-21 18:32

I've been out of the loop on some of the universal packaging news(XDG-app, flatpack, snaps, etc) but I'd like to develop some universal packages that mainly have Debian in mind(I know it should be distro-agnostic in the long run but my main concern is that these packages work on Debian first), and I have a few noob packaging questions.

1. ) Is there any 'blessed' universal packaging system for Debian? From what I understand snaps are Ubuntu specific(at least so far) so I was wondering if flatpak is preferred/more likely to be used. I'd like to avoid doing a lot of work that won't get used by Debian if at all possible.

2. ) This question might depend on which packaging system is used but I was wondering where my final products would be stored. I've read that there are flatpaks being developed for Debian Experimental, are those packages hosted by Debian or is there an overarching maintainer for every distro? (or do i host the packages myself?)

Thanks for any info!

-Rose
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Re: The state of universal packaging in Debian

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2016-06-21 18:41

rosedovell wrote:I was wondering if flatpak is preferred/more likely to be used.

Seems likely, Red Hat usually beats Ubuntu :D

flatpak is already available in sid:
https://packages.debian.org/sid/flatpak

I haven't tried it in Debian but it works extremely well in Arch:
https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php ... 5#p1635595
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Re: The state of universal packaging in Debian

Postby GarryRicketson » 2016-06-21 19:09

Edited---- I misunderstood the question,
sorry.
Last edited by GarryRicketson on 2016-06-21 21:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The state of universal packaging in Debian

Postby rosedovell » 2016-06-21 19:34

Thanks for the resources both of you, if there's already a package in Sid then I think it's safe to say that for the time being Debian is choosing flatpak and I'm going to move forward with that.
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Re: The state of universal packaging in Debian

Postby GarryRicketson » 2016-06-21 19:45

Edited, --oopsed!--- misunderstood the question,
again, I am sorry
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Re: The state of universal packaging in Debian

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2016-06-21 20:09

@Garry: please read http://flatpak.org/

The OP is asking about distribution-agnostic packaging methods, those Debian packaging links do not apply here ;)
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Re: The state of universal packaging in Debian

Postby oswaldkelso » 2016-06-21 20:29

Zero Install is a decentralised cross-distribution software installation system. Other features include full support for shared libraries (with a SAT solver for dependency resolution), sharing between users, and integration with native platform package managers. It supports both binary and source packages, and works on Linux, OS X, Unix and Windows systems. It is fully Open Source.


http://0install.net/

https://packages.debian.org/jessie/zeroinstall-injector

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Re: The state of universal packaging in Debian

Postby wizard10000 » 2016-06-21 20:56

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:...flatpak is already available in sid:
https://packages.debian.org/sid/flatpak


So is snapd :)
https://packages.debian.org/sid/snapd
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Re: The state of universal packaging in Debian

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2016-06-21 21:04

^ :)

Of course, these are all just distractions.

The real future is outlined in this blog post:
http://0pointer.net/blog/revisiting-how ... stems.html

:twisted:
Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick on 2016-06-21 21:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The state of universal packaging in Debian

Postby GarryRicketson » 2016-06-21 21:22

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:@Garry: please read http://flatpak.org/

The OP is asking about distribution-agnostic packaging methods, those Debian packaging links do not apply here ;)


Oh,ok , Sorry, I guess I was misunderstanding , I also had not read the link, yet,
any way sorry about that.
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Re: The state of universal packaging in Debian

Postby HuangLao » 2016-06-22 00:54

:|

why not stick with .deb dpkg? leave flatpak/fannypack and snap for the corp. distros that have to produce new fancy things to make shareholders happy.
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Re: The state of universal packaging in Debian

Postby stevepusser » 2016-06-22 02:27

I've only tried appimages, but they do allow for the use of newer applications on platforms that you can't get them to work on, no matter what, via the Debian packaging method. (such as vlc 2.2.3 on Wheezy)

Pros: People using stable can get updated userspace applications without risk of creating FrankenDebians, as they so often do.

Cons:
Take up more disk space, like Windows applications. (LWA)
Probably less efficient in CPU & RAM resource usage. (LWA)
Available only for some architectures. (LWA)
May lead to security exploits. (LWA)
The MX Linux repositories: Backports galore! If we don't have something, just ask and we'll try--we like challenges. New packages: Inkscape 0.92.1, Pale Moon 27.2.0, Liquorix kernel 4.9-18, mpv 0.24, Kodi 17.0, Shotwell 24.5, Mesa 13.0.6
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Re: The state of universal packaging in Debian

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2016-06-22 06:48

HuangLao wrote:why not stick with .deb dpkg?

This is a very valid point.

Distribution-agnostic packaging methods bypass the maintainers that police the content of distributed software.

See http://kmkeen.com/maintainers-matter/
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Re: The state of universal packaging in Debian

Postby sgosnell » 2016-06-22 18:02

If you package your software as a universal package, which any distro can install, you may increase your userbase by a large amount. That's the attraction. The downside is that the package is going to be huge, because you have to include all the necessary libs. Using flatpaks, snaps, etc, there could easily be dozens or hundreds of copies of libc6 on the disk, for example. Terabyte, probably multiple terabyte, drives will be necessary. That may or may not be a showstopper. I well remember when a few-hundred megabyte HDD was state of the art. I was always well behind the state, though, and thus never had a lot of empty disk space. Right now, I'm running my desktop with 64GB SSD and an external 250GB HDD, with plenty of empty space. That won't work if I start installing very many snaps/flatpaks/whatever. The last I heard, a LibreOffice flatpak was well over a gigabyte by itself. There is still a lot of controversy on the Redhat/Gnome mailing lists. Not everyone is buying in, and there are potential security issues. It's far too early to tell what the outcome will be, nor whether Redhat or Canonical will emerge as the winner, if either does. IMO it's far too early to jump into this mess.
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Re: The state of universal packaging in Debian

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2016-06-22 18:14

sgosnell wrote:The last I heard, a LibreOffice flatpak was well over a gigabyte by itself.

That was a mistake -- they packaged the debug version.

The actual size is ~350MiB, which is still quite large.

sgosnell wrote:Using flatpaks, snaps, etc, there could easily be dozens or hundreds of copies of libc6 on the disk, for example.

It's not quite as bad as that, the programs can make use of shared "runtime" packages -- see the flatpak.org link I gave above ;)
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