IPS is inevitable

Added by David Billiot over 3 years ago

I know a lot of people don't seem to care that much for IPS but one of the distributions really needs to have that. When I say one of the distributions, I am not referring to Solaris from Oracle. I have nothing against Oracle per say but there needs to be a distro based on Illumos that uses IPS that can tap into the various IPS repositories out there until the software from those repositories can be converted into another package type.

This also needs to be done in a hurry. Solarish.net already went down and I don't know how much longer ips.homeunix.com will stay up with the current news.

For myself, if I could just put a word in, I don't really care about the specific packaging type but I do care about being able to install packages from a GUI interface without having to invoke the command line. That was one of the things that made me choose OpenSolaris distro over Belenix in the first place was that I didn't need the terminal to install software and I didn't have to install software one package at a time.

I am not saying that every distro should adopt IPS, but at least one distro based on Illumos should.

I am also concerned about the ability to use software designed for OpenSolaris on Belenix or StormOS. Would Bordeaux work for instance? How do we get xfce and kde to work together on the same system?

I am concerned about these things because I am a desktop user, I really could care less about servers. My friends donate slightly older computers to me, I fix them, install OpenSolaris and then give them away to needy families. It is a hobby of mine sort of. So I care about the desktop. I think it is proper and fitting that a different disto be focused on the server and a different one on the desktop. We can make sure the kernels are the same but them put what we need on top.

For that matter, and I know that this might not be the best place to mention this, but would it be possible to get someone somewhere working on a modern desktop environment that was not chained under the GPL. I like open software but I can't stand the GPL. Free software should be about expanding freedom not making things worse than proprietary software. Besides, isn't anyone else annoyed at the proliferation of g in everything. The poor letter N just will not be left alone, someone has to go and tag a g in front of it. As an English teacher I just can't stand it. gnumerics, gnumerology, gnumb, gnoodles, gnations, gnosticism (oh wait)


Replies (18)

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by Jonathan Edwards over 3 years ago

Besides, isn't anyone else annoyed at the proliferation of g in everything? The poor letter N just will not be left alone, someone has to go and tag a g in front of it.

gno .. as a fan of Swann and Flanders - i find it quite gnormal

as for IPS though .. I find this quite abnormal .. I'd be for a yum/rpm approach or even a apt/deb both of which are a little more friendly even in the GUI department

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by Dmitry Kozhinov over 3 years ago

David Billiot wrote:

... I do care about being able to install packages from a GUI interface without having to invoke the command line.

My vote for this too!

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by Paul Gress over 3 years ago

The way I see this is IPS is needed. If Solaris 11 is moving towards IPS, then commercial developers are most likely going to move to IPS. How will I install their packages?

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by Jimmy Hess over 3 years ago

IPS is not inevitable; it might not even be best, unless enough people find it acceptable it is doubtful distributions will ultimately want to use IPS,
I would suggest investigating whether packages from IPS repositories can be transparently converted into something else.

"How will you install their packages?"
By converting them to whichever format your chosen distribution is going to prefer.
Take a look at entry on blogs.nexenta.org: http://blogs.nexenta.org/blog/2010/08/22/ips-fail/

Personally, I think their idea auto-generated SVR4 packages could be swell compared to IPS.
But my hope would be some distribution(s) would be using .DEB packages with apt-get support..

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by Chris Josephes over 3 years ago

Just to throw in my own 2 cents, I'm going to agree with sticking to IPS. Illumos is going to look a lot more appealing to the Solaris user if we stick to similar technologies. We have some ideas on what the roadmap for IPS looks like, and the source is open. We also know that Oracle seems to stand by the position that they do not want to deliver a half-assed product, so presumable when Solaris 11 is out, IPS will look a lot more appealing. Hopefully, the documentation will also be on par with the old Solaris SVR4 packaging docs.

I'll also admit that I used to create SVR4 packages in mere seconds thanks to a perl script or two, so I understand the appeal of that format. But it did have some of its own flaws.

If somebody wants to create tools to convert an IPS package to RPM/DEB/SVR4 or whatever, towards the benefit of a downstream fork, I'd say go for it.

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by Jonathan Edwards over 3 years ago

Chris Josephes wrote:

We also know that Oracle seems to stand by the position that they do not want to deliver a half-assed product, so presumable when Solaris 11 is out, IPS will look a lot more appealing. Hopefully, the documentation will also be on par with the old Solaris SVR4 packaging docs.

the big problem I had with IPS initially was that it really was half-assed in design:

1) it was hideously slow .. wrapped python storing everything in hashmaps/dictionaries and large ugly trees to walk in /var .. you end up generating a lot of metadata which made simple queries (what everyone needs to do to maintain a system) extremely painful .. eg: seconds vs minutes to install something .. milliseconds vs seconds to query something .. everything always seemed off by a factor of 2-10x slower

2) they never defined an on-disk format .. meaning you could never really give somebody a package to install - you could only setup a repository somewhere and blow the bits across a network socket .. fine for their distribution model, but very painful for traditional application developers who like delivering things on CD's or download files without having to setup a (very ugly) web distribution mechanism

At one point there was talk of ZFS containers to install bits, but this never really got hashed out .. interesting ideas - it's just the implementation of them, and some of the hard-headedness on that team made them somewhat impossible to deal with

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by andrew k7 over 3 years ago

Dmitry Kozhinov wrote:

David Billiot wrote:

... I do care about being able to install packages from a GUI interface without having to invoke the command line.

My vote for this too!

How many times to I need to say this: ILLUMOS OS NOT A DISTRIBUTION - it aims to be a fully open-source derivative of the ON consolidation. GUI tools are not part of that consolidation, and besides there already is a GUI tool for administering IPS packages - just not in ON.

One of the stated aims of Illumos is to maintain as much compatibility as possible with Oracle's ON consolidation. This will inevitably mean some interaction with IPS. Yes IPS is a dogs breakfast but it is what ON uses and is likely to be what Solaris 11 will use.

Also, unlike ON, IPS is still being developed by Oracle in the open. (See http://src.opensolaris.org/source/history/pkg/gate/src/).

Cheers

Andrew.

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by andrew k7 over 3 years ago

andrew k7 wrote:

Dmitry Kozhinov wrote:

David Billiot wrote:

... I do care about being able to install packages from a GUI interface without having to invoke the command line.

My vote for this too!

How many times to I need to say this: ILLUMOS OS NOT A DISTRIBUTION

Oops, that should say ILLUMOS IS NOT A DISTRIBUTION. My bad.

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by Jonathan Edwards over 3 years ago

andrew k7 wrote:

Oops, that should say ILLUMOS IS NOT A DISTRIBUTION. My bad.

hey .. I heard that Illumos is not a distribution .. it's just a "build it and they will come (tm)" repository that may turn a distribution if history tells us anything .. I've also heard that it might become Illuminos, but regardless much of it appears to be in a great state of flux at the moment

personally, I'd prefer to think that Illumos is not a "distribution" .. but regardless, the IPS debate is still a one worth having as I think we'd all love to see a better packaging mechanism that doesn't try to solve cross-platform world hunger from an ivory tower vacuum

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by Carlos Sura over 3 years ago

I do not really think there is necessary a GUI interface to install packages, I'm comfortable with command line.

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by Jimmy Hess over 3 years ago

About GUIs, all that really matters is there be a stable complete API that allows someone to build a GUI on top of whatever the basic package management is.
Someone will write a CLI and a GUI, but it should be the least of our concerns today that there be a CLI or GUI available for the package format.

If Illumos is not a complete distribution, then it should be as unimposing as possible in regards to package mangement practices,
the distributions based on it should be able to choose the technology and the default interfaces available for package management.

I don't think the ability to "bring 3rd party packages into an Illumos" system, is something Illumos devs should be concerned about.

Instead it should be "How are 3rd parties going to import the Illumos bits?"
And how are they going to do it seamlessly regardless of which of the major package managers they are choosing to use for their distribution's bits?

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by Charles Morris over 3 years ago

Carlos Sura wrote:

I do not really think there is necessary a GUI interface to install packages, I'm comfortable with command line.

Correct. Are we forgetting the spirit of Solaris here with all this talk of GUI and packages? apt-get? I'll pass.

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by Sriram Narayanan over 3 years ago

On the Belenix team, we've got rpm working, and know that we can convert our spec file repository to be rpmbuild compatible. We've been using spec files from Fedora in the past, and may even pull in spec files from CentOS or the EPEL. I myself am a CentOS sysadmin, so my familiarity with rpm and yum is high.

We've not taken a final decision on whether to use rpm or deb, yet. We're going to see whether the Nexenta Core Platform will move to Debian so that we can specialize on KDE while using the NCP. Otherwise, we'll use illumos and rpm.

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by Sriram Narayanan over 3 years ago

On Belenix, we've got a sizable collection of packages at the moment, and will be revising the package versions and adding more packages over the next few months.

We are able to use the IPS spec files and generate packages for Belenix. We are not interested in supporting IPS itself, though.

-- Sriram =======
Belenix: www.belenix.org

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by T.J. Yang over 3 years ago

In Illumos Hybrid PMS project(R1), we will support SVR4 in the beginning and add support of IPS when Solaris 11 is ready.

R1: http://illumos.org/projects/cpamtww

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by devsk devsk over 3 years ago

IPS is not only dog slow but makes a 2GB system look like its from 80's. It sucks all the RAM in the system. I think its pretty dumb! And I thought portage (being based on python as well) was heavy! But IPS is not even 10% as powerful as portage (both feature as well as performance wise).

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by David Billiot over 3 years ago

I know there is not really enough love for IPS to fill a thimble. I know and I agree, it makes a system slow and it has problems that we don't need to get dragged into right now. However, if we are going to be IPS free, at least until IPS grows up; if ever that happens; then we do need to rescue the software that currently is only available through IPS right now.

I have managed to save all the software from Solarish.net by making an archive and I have successfully installed the software on another Solaris computer and it seems to all work fine. Now I just need to learn how to turn that archive into SVR4.

On a side note, what would it take to make it so that an SVR4 package could be installed by just clicking on it. I know you can easily open a terminal and pkgadd it but surely it is possible to make it clickable.

RE: IPS is inevitable - Added by Richard Hamilton over 3 years ago

Jimmy Hess wrote:

IPS is not inevitable; it might not even be best, unless enough people find it acceptable it is doubtful distributions will ultimately want to use IPS, I would suggest investigating whether packages from IPS repositories can be transparently converted into something else.

"How will you install their packages?" By converting them to whichever format your chosen distribution is going to prefer. Take a look at entry on blogs.nexenta.org: http://blogs.nexenta.org/blog/2010/08/22/ips-fail/

Personally, I think their idea auto-generated SVR4 packages could be swell compared to IPS. But my hope would be some distribution(s) would be using .DEB packages with apt-get support..

AFAIK the be* (boot environment) commands are IPS-aware, and the IPS commands are zfs and zone aware.
Some of that might also be true of the SVR4 pkg commands, but AFAIK not of any other package
format (except insofar as other distros have solved that).

Anyway, just because all those things are tangled together, if one wants to diverge as little
as possible from Solaris, then I think one is probably stuck with IPS.

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