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Thread: I think that Ubuntu should eventually switch to pacman instead of apt.

  1. #1
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    Wink I think that Ubuntu should eventually switch to pacman instead of apt.

    Before I get started, let me state that I know Ubuntu probably never will switch due to the shear number of packages it has made into debs, but I thought I would post it anyway since its been going through my head a lot recently. Also, let me tell you this is not about Ubuntu becoming rolling release or being based on Arch or anything like that. Its just about the package manager Arch uses, and is just my personal opinion.

    I have used Ubuntu since March of last year. I have tried several times to make packages, but its all in vain. Debian packaging is very complicated, and each time I try I have something to wrong somewhere. I have learned to get by through hoping others would make packages for me since it was very hard to make my own.

    I have been using Arch for a few months now, and have come to appreciate how easy it is to build packages. I can make my own PKGBUILDs using a simple template and my knowlege of how to compile programs, then install them from the .pkg.tar.gz which is generated. In Debian packaging, I would have to deal with complicated stuff such as fakeroot and such, and trying to get it to compile how debian wanted it was a hassle. The debs that were generated were also painless to install though.

    The power of pacman comes from how easy everything is though. There are tons of unsupported packages for Arch in AUR (I can say if you include these packages the amount of programs packaged for Arch rivals that of Ubuntu), and it is easy to install these using yaourt, which automates everything for you. The AUR is kind of like Ubuntu's universe and multiverse repository, where the majority of Ubuntu's packages are.

    You can even easily create an Arch Linux repository, using the well documented page on the wiki. I have used Larch's (the livecd arch linux builder) Gen_repo script for this, which works very well and painlessly.

    I can say that overall from my experience, Arch's package manager rivals that of Ubuntu's, and surpasses it in ease of use. Its easier to create packages for, and could possibly have just as many programs as Ubuntu does packaged for it if you include AUR. Its even easy to create a repository for Arch Linux.

    Again, though, these are my opinions, taken from my experiences thus far, and should be taken with a grain of salt.
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  2. #2
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    Re: I think that Ubuntu should eventually switch to pacman instead of apt.

    If Ubuntu should ever be blessed (or cursed) with a new package manager in the future, I think it should be Conary. It tracks dependencies down to individual files, installs only what is needed, and keeps a history of package installation similar to how a version control system functions, allowing you to revert changes. See Foresight Linux if you want to see Conary in action.

    Of course, Pacman is great too. It's simple done well.
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  3. #3
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    Re: I think that Ubuntu should eventually switch to pacman instead of apt.

    Yes but the library of packages for arch is minuscule compared to debian.

    Arch:
    4859

    Debian:
    25457

    Plus I never had problems creating .deb, also good luck converting non native .rpm files too, there are many packages out there that people may find useful that are RPM only so its easier to convert rpms to deb then it is to create arch packages.
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    Re: I think that Ubuntu should eventually switch to pacman instead of apt.

    I think the suggestion of an improved build system for Ubuntu, like Gentoo/Slackware/Arch has, is excellent. But pacman is just a package manager and doesn't necessarily work better than apt (it does in Arch but not sure on other distros) - I don't know of any implementations that can install .deb and so don't know how well it would work. Pacman is hard coded for Arch format packages (Judd Vinot wrote both format and pacman together) and as I see it as highly unfeasable that Ubuntu would drop .deb totally (being that it's based on Debian and people are used to it) then it would need a complete pacman rewrite, which would be essentially a new package manager (which people will probably complain doesn't work as well as apt).

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyRabbiera
    Yes but the library of packages for arch is minuscule compared to debian.

    Arch:
    4859

    Debian:
    25457
    Yes but Debian breaks packages up more than Arch. Lots of them have -dev packages as well as the main package (which adds to the count) which Arch doesn't have. In Ubuntu, Beagle comes in about 15 packages whereas in Arch it comes as two. With that factored in as well as AUR (AUR hosts 10,529) the number of packages is not as bad as you make out.
    Last edited by sub2007; November 29th, 2008 at 08:44 PM.

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    Re: I think that Ubuntu should eventually switch to pacman instead of apt.

    Quote Originally Posted by sub2007 View Post
    I think the suggestion of an improved build system for Ubuntu, like Gentoo/Slackware/Arch has, is excellent. But pacman is just a package manager and doesn't necessarily work better than apt (it does in Arch but not sure on other distros) - I don't know of any implementations that can install .deb and so don't know how well it would work. Pacman is hard coded for Arch format packages (Judd Vinot wrote both format and pacman together) and as I see it as highly unfeasable that Ubuntu would drop .deb totally (being that it's based on Debian and people are used to it) then it would need a complete pacman rewrite, which would be essentially a new package manager (which people will probably complain doesn't work as well as apt).
    that too, why mess with something when there are already many .debs out there to convert.
    Debian has the most diverse amount of packages out there so why cut it out for something with so few packages?
    Plus you would have to make sure those packages are compiled on your own, not ideal for new users.
    But in the future I feel debian will get better with its packages, so what is the point?
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    Re: I think that Ubuntu should eventually switch to pacman instead of apt.

    Like I said, I know that it would probably never happen, its just something I was stating.

    And about deb packages: I can install them on Arch easily by using this code:
    Code:
    deb2targz <nameofdeb>.deb
    tar -xcf <nameofdeb>.tar.gz
    That code turns the deb into a tar.gz file, and then you can extract the tar.gz file into the pkg directory, where makepkg makes it into a pkg.tar.gz.

    Also, pacman has a lot more packages than it looks, and its easier for people to make .pkg.tar.gz packages than in Ubuntu. I would be interested to see Conary, though. What distros use it?
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  7. #7
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    Re: I think that Ubuntu should eventually switch to pacman instead of apt.

    But people would still have to compile and that is where you have to make the deal breaker.
    Debian just has too many packages to go to something with so few packages out by default.
    You might as well say Ubuntu should use RPM's next
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    Re: I think that Ubuntu should eventually switch to pacman instead of apt.

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyRabbiera View Post
    But people would still have to compile and that is where you have to make the deal breaker.
    Debian just has too many packages to go to something with so few packages out by default.
    You might as well say Ubuntu should use RPM's next
    Actually, as stated above, Arch has more packages than it looks. Also, people wouldn't have to compile if they wanted to stay with the packages in the repos (which there are quite a few). Its basically the same as Ubuntu, compile if you want to or if there is no package available. Since Arch has AUR, there would be less compiling due to more packages being available due to easier package creation.
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  9. #9
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    Re: I think that Ubuntu should eventually switch to pacman instead of apt.

    I think what the OP is getting at is that Arch has a better build system for creating it's package format than Ubuntu has for creating it's package format. I found creating .debs so labourious that I stopped doing it. On Arch creating a package is a piece of cake (it's a matter of just changing the pkgbuild file, often just updating the version number and running makepkg).

    So it seems that it's not about adopting pacman or Arch's package format, more about creating or incorporating something like ABS that would make .deb creation easier, because it is undeniably easier on Arch than on Ubuntu.

  10. #10
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    Re: I think that Ubuntu should eventually switch to pacman instead of apt.

    I think that Ubuntu should eventually switch to pacman instead of apt.
    I don't.
    If you don't like apt then go to a different one that has what you want.

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