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Re: [ttylinux:75] Re: Pacman and software repositories?

A few notes / random thoughts on using ArchLinux packages...

The packages include a small metadata file named .PKGINFO
that is extracted into the toplevel / directory. It's safe
to delete this file after installation, otherwise it's
harmless (and tiny) and will be overwritten each time you
install an Arch package. It does contains some information
that might be useful, you can view it before installing:

% xz -c -d nano-2.2.6-1-i686.pkg.tar.xz | tar -Of- -x .PKGINFO

pkgname = nano
pkgver = 2.2.6-1
pkgdesc = Pico editor clone with enhancements
url = http://www.nano-editor.org
builddate = 1291058311
size = 1537024
arch = i686
license = GPL
group = base
depend = ncurses
depend = sh
backup = etc/nanorc

In particular the "depend" and "backup" fields might be interesting.
Note that "depend" is not recursive, there might still be other packages
required to satisfy the dependencies of the dependencies.

The "backup" field should serve as a warning for any custom configuration
files that may be clobbered by the installation, you might want to back up
these files manually if needed.

The archive might also contain a file named .INSTALL - if it does, you
should examine it carefully - it is basically a shell script that contains
some functions like post_install(); post_upgrade(); and post_remove();
that handle any extra operations that should be performed after installation,
upgrade, or removal of a package.

Also note that ArchLinux doesn't have separate "devel" packages, when you
install a library you will almost always get the include headers and static
libraries too, so you might want to manually remove these on a tight system.

BTW, the latest busybox supports extracting *.xz files, but I don't know if
this feature is enabled for ttylinux. If it is, it probably wouldn't take
much to write a small script to convert ArchLinux packages on the fly.

ArchLinux packages are intended for i686 or better, but you can find a
decent selection of i586 packages at http://www.connochaetos.org/
Slackware packages have a somewhat similar format, and also
support a lower class of hardware.

 - Jeff