Overview of Jockey replacement; options for Kubuntu?

Jonathan Thomas echidnaman at gmail.com
Wed May 30 17:37:50 UTC 2012

Hi Steve,

On Wed, May 30, 2012 at 1:29 PM, Steve Langasek
<steve.langasek at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> Hi Martin,
> On Tue, May 29, 2012 at 07:23:23AM +0200, Martin Pitt wrote:
>> Jonathan Thomas [2012-05-25  9:09 -0400]:
>> > I think that we'd rather not use PackageKit (for Kubuntu at least).
>> Please note that it just provides a PackageKit API. We don't use the
>> actual PackageKit in Ubuntu as well, but the python-aptdaemon.pkcompat
>> wrapper. Kubuntu does the same.
>> This provides an upstream friendly API, so that our GUIs for driver
>> detection do not have to stay distro specific for all times. However,
>> you don't have to use it, of course.
> I have vague recollections that the reason we never adopted packagekit
> itself was because it was designed for an RPM-centric world, an in
> particular did not allow packages to interact with users (i.e., debconf and
> conffile prompts), and packagekit upstream was not interested in
> accomodating dpkg requirements.  Does using the PackageKit API introduce the
> same limitations on package interaction?

Thanks to work by Daniel Nicoletti PackageKit now supports debconf in
its apt worker implementation. The aptcc backend supports debconf via
the passthrough DEBIAN_FRONTEND, specifically by setting the
DEBCONF_PIPE env var to the pipe of the debconf frontend currently in

So technically the PackageKit still doesn't support things like
debconf from an API POV, but the PackageKit backend can provide
debconf via passthrough as part of the install. I'd assume that the
packagekit compatibility layer that aptdaemon has runs the debconf
stuff "behind the scenes" in regards to PK calls.

> Thanks,
> --
> Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
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