[arch-general] arch-general Digest, Vol 141, Issue 16

pelzflorian (Florian Pelz) pelzflorian at pelzflorian.de
Mon Jul 11 06:00:21 UTC 2016

On 07/11/2016 01:09 AM, Information Technology Works wrote:
> Aren't  snaps, flatpak and appimage missing the boat in a concerning
> way? Shouldn't the Gnu+Linux ecosystem be focusing on automating the
> package building/maintenance instead? A layer above distros' package
> managers(pacman, apt, etc) that can build upstream from source without
> human intervention. Maybe upstream would have to cooperate in some way?
> Every distro would just have to write a plugin/config for themselves
> that described how their packages should be built, then their package
> manager can be used to install binaries like now. Distro devs could
> develop the system and verify it's integrity/security or do distro
> feature related work instead of packaging. This would address all the
> problems that these app container based systems are trying to solve
> while keeping dependency resolution, repos, etc. in tact.  Is this
> impossible/wrong for some reason?


Work is being done in this area [1], but it’s not as fancy as you may
think. It’s mostly about upstream using a well-behaved build system.
Well-behaved software is easy to package anyway (just do `./configure
--prefix=/usr`, `make` and `make install`). When customization is
necessary or desired, pacman brings the needed versatility.

Please note that “build once, run anywhere“ is not the only advantage of
Flatpak and not one pacpak addresses. To me, containerization mostly
provides added security by privilege revocation and separation of

Florian Pelz

[1] https://github.com/cgwalters/build-api

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