AppStream/SC/PK GSoC report #1

Matthias Klumpp matthias at
Mon Jun 4 04:47:28 PDT 2012


2012/6/4 Raphael Hertzog <raphael at>:
> Le lundi 04 juin 2012, Matthias Klumpp a écrit :
>> If you read through this now, I'd like to ask you if you have anything
>> you want to do with PackageKit (which is not very backend-specific)
>> and haven't been able to do until now. - If there is any of these
>> issues, we might now be able to fix it.
> I'm not involved in all this but there are reasons (which I don't know)
> explaining why aptdaemon got introduced when the natural choice should
> have been to decide to use PK.
Yes, this is part of the current discussion and something which
bothered me a lot during the past time. I think we now have the choice
to fix this once and for all.
The reason why aptd was introduced was that PK wasn't able to fulfill
some special Debian/Ubuntu requirements, for example Debconf support.
Debconf is a very flexible system to ask questions during installation
of packages, something which PK explicitly forbids by policy. (See
hughsie's law) We (mostly Daniel, I did a few things too) managed to
workaround this issue last year.
Also, aptd only has one PolicyKit policy to do all actions and a DBus
interface to perform actions on, allowing some more advanced tools to
use aptd too. Right now, something similar is discussed, but it's a
very slow discussion.
Last but not least, aptd supports some Ubuntu specifics (purchasing
apps, plugins) and does some other things which are more or less
covered by PK already.

> Have you looked into those reasons and can PK fulfill everything
> that aptdaemon does?
Right now, PK can do some stuff aptd can't and aptd can do things PK can't.
In theory, PK can do everything Aptd can, if some API changes are
made, and this needs to be discussed with Richard, who usually has
some good comments about that changes.

> It would be great to have a cross-distro solution that's really
> cross-distro and that does not force everybody into the lowest common
> denominator.
Agreed :-) At least we managed to get all stuff ready for Debian now,
and I'm happy that PK will be part of the new Wheezy release. (You can
already try it there!) PK is fully functional in Debian, there are
just some things missing I need to implement the SC properly.
It would be cool if you, as DD, could maybe comment on that stuff too,
as I am the only "Debian" person right now and other people are from
The cool part is that improving PK will help every distribution, not
just OpenSUSE or Debian :-)

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