PackageKit and APT

PackageKit is the name of the system package abstraction. Why PackageKit? Well, I was getting jealous of all the other cool stuff happening with daemons ending in Kit and wanted my own. And, if I type the word “manager” once again I'm going to have to rip my hands from my arms. :-)

There is a wiki page with all the use cases so far and some UI designs. Feel free to add comments or suggestions at the end of the page.

I've spent most of today working out a asynchronous DBUS API that can work with all of the use-cases, and starting a system activated daemon that can manage the sequential jobs. The daemon now 80% works, and I'm just writing a “dummy” backend with a “do nothing but take time doing it” role for testing. The other backends (yum/apt) are in the source tree but are currently empty files.

I only know a little about APT, so now I need your help. I need a way of searching for installed and not-installed software. I think I need either:

  • a C binding for APT (I'm guessing that doesn't exist)
  • a way of APT letting me search for “power” and returning tab delimited output.

The output would ideally be one line per entry:
gnome-power-manager<tab>GNOME Power Manager<tab>GNOME Power Manager is a system daemon that eats lots of power
power-pacman<tab>Power Pacman<tab>Power Pacman is a cool game where a dot eats other dots

The same thing for YUM would also be great as well, although I'm focusing on the apt backend first as I think it's the easier target for now. Thanks!

One response to “PackageKit and APT”

  1. Anonymous

    libapt-pkg-dev should give you more or less what you need, I guess…

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