PackageKit Collections

From PackageKit 0.3.3 onwards, a new type of package is supported called a collection.

 What gpk-application looks like with collection support

A collection is a metapackage that can represent a group, where the package mapping is done inside the backend. It is not like a catalog where an external file provides a meta-group. This enables the “group install” and “group remove” functionality people have been requesting since version 0.1.0, without get another abstract group mapping or extra API to support.

I’ve made a few changes in the daemon to properly support this new type, and in the yum backend Tim Lauridsen has added support using the comps group mapping. Mike Langlie has drawn us some great icons, and Anders F Björklund implemented collections for smart, and helped us with the design process. The extra type should be trivial to add to other backends too.

We added the feature in just a few hours of hacking, as everyone was working together. I’m amazed at how people work together so well all over the globe, in different timezones and with different work priorities – thanks guys.

Comments, as always, appreciated

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Richard has over 10 years of experience developing open source software. He is the maintainer of GNOME Software, PackageKit, GNOME Packagekit, GNOME Power Manager, GNOME Color Manager, colord, and UPower and also contributes to many other projects and opensource standards. Richard has three main areas of interest on the free desktop, color management, package management, and power management. Richard graduated a few years ago from the University of Surrey with a Masters in Electronics Engineering. He now works for Red Hat in the desktop group, and also manages a company selling open source calibration equipment. Richard's outside interests include taking photos and eating good food.

11 thoughts on “PackageKit Collections”

  1. That’s great!

    An additional use could be one link / .catalog file on a download page, instead of individual links to every distribution.

  2. @Bob:

    Sure, you can make a codec colllection — it’ll even expand if you add the livna repo if the group name is the same. Internally it’s very similar to groupinstall.

  3. Very nice. Could collections be sorted first? So, collections (alphabetically) first, then individual packages (alphabetically) after that.

    Also, if you mark a collection to be installed, is it clear what packages will get pulled in with it?

  4. Hah, great!
    But in the screenshot one cannot see which packages will be installed with sound-and-video. Shouldn’t this information be given in the description of the collection?

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