Auto Package

George Deka george.deka at
Tue Mar 29 22:23:34 CST 2005

The thing is new users go to a third party applications website and
expect to download something from there to get the application.
What we need is something that will call apt do a search and then
install the application.
What could be done further is that if the application is not found in
the ubuntu repo's it can ask do you wish to use the autopackage if one

And i have used autopackage - eg when a protocol is broken in gaim and
the ubuntu version has not been updated because of being frozen and
you need the new version.

my 2c


On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 22:03:36 -0500, ACK!! <dlist at> wrote:
> Matt Zimmerman Wrote:
> >
> > I would like to see this as well, but the model used on the Windows
> > platform
> > isn't applicable to open source.  For software which doesn't ship with
> > the
> > OS itself, users download self-extracting archives, or buy CDs with
> > installers on them.  Applications are generally monolithic, and
> > software
> > from different sources does not interdepend.  Where they do
> > interdepend,
> > things don't work well: e.g., a game which requires a certain version
> > of a
> > DLL ships with a copy on its CD-ROM, and replaces the one that you have
> > on
> > the system, even if an installed program required it.  Where they
> > aren't
> > self-contained, Windows applications step on each other's toes all the
> > time.
> >
> > With open source, we're solving problems that proprietary vendors have
> > the
> > luxury of ignoring for the most part.
> >
> > I'm not as familiar with MacOS X, but Apple, I believe, uses a
> > packaging
> > format not entirely unlike .deb for packaging third-party software, so
> > if
> > they're meeting your requirements, it's not because of the format that
> > they
> > use.
> >
> > --
> > - mdz
> >
> > --
> > ubuntu-devel mailing list
> > ubuntu-devel at
> >
> Easy to install third-party packing formats are applicable to
> open-source, in fact more applicable than most people dare to admit.
> 1.  Many projects already have their own "proprietary"
> installers/install methods like OpenOffice or Mozilla or Limewire.
> Also this format could help standardize commercial installers from Real
> Player or Acrobat.  Autopackage could easily benefit these companies to
> provide a single interface.
> 2.  There are many projects like gaim and Abiword that update their
> software with stable releases rather often.  The version of Abiword
> that shipped with Ubuntu had a bug where everytime I highlighted bolded
> text inside of a table with an embedded graphic inside of a Word
> template the program crashed.
> This prompted me to try out autopackage.  A real need.
> I upgraded to the latest version available from the Abiword folks and
> it worked.  I tried Inkscape and the gaim packages more on an
> experimental lark than a need and was quite impressed.
> It just worked and mimicked the behavior most users are already
> familiar with.
> Autopackage is certainly not perfect at this time but it also tries to
> provide a nice familiar mothod for installing packages while remaining
> distro - independant.
> That is a noble goal.  Look at the system tools that Ubuntu uses.  I
> like the fact that this distro makes use of available system config
> tools instead of using a lot of stuff built only for Ubuntu.
> System configuration and package management are simply two vital and
> important to the linux community as a whole to simply leave it totally
> up to the distros alone.
> But that is imho.
> --
> ACK!!
> --
> ubuntu-devel mailing list
> ubuntu-devel at

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