Announcement: One Click Installer

Jerome Haltom wasabi at
Tue Aug 7 17:40:55 BST 2007

I wanted to point you to my existing effort with regards to this:

Someday I will in fact finish this. Please take a look at it though.

On Mon, 2007-08-06 at 19:01 +0200, Krzysztof Lichota wrote:
> I would like to share with you the project I have been working for some
> time now which I think could help solving bug #1.
> The problem:
> - Users coming from Windows (and in general beginners) want installation
> of applications to be as easy as possible. Download, Next, Next, Done
> kind of experience.
> - If you start talking about command line and adding keys, repositories,
> etc. you have lost them. They will not understand and they will not
> _want_ to dig into technical details.
> - There is plenty of packaging formats used on Linux and average users
> do not want to know the differences between them, they just want to
> install application.
> Package installation applications (Synaptic, Adept) and apt repositories
> do not solve the problem for the following reasons:
> 1. Repositories must be added manually and this exceeds skills of
> average Windows user. Keys must be added also and repositories updated.
> Too many steps, too difficult.
> 2. Users are not used to going to package management application to
> install application. They want to click link on application web page,
> download, run, Next, Next, etc.
> 3. Package management applications are too bloated with features and
> contain thousands of applications. Even with categories it is hard to
> find application that the user needs (think "I want a movie player"),
> especially if they do not know name and are presented with 10
> applications which they do not know and all do the same or differ in
> technical details (e.g. uses Xine or uses GStreamer). Users want to have
> some context - other users comments, grades, etc.
> 4. Application descriptions are in English (I know about DDTP, but AFAIK
> it does not work). Many users do not know English and they want
> information about applications in their language, on native portals with
> applications (like localized Tucows).
> 5. User must know that he is using APT with DEB packages. As there are
> separate APT repositories for each distribution version and user must
> also know what distribution he is using which version, choose
> appropriate repository, etc.
> 6. If user is using some other distribution than Debian-based he is even
>  more in pain, he has to know what package format to use (DEB, RPM, TGZ,
> Ebuild, ...), what channel (APT, yum, Yast, ZMD, etc.), what distro,
> which version.
> Now compare it to installation on Windows - user goes to Google, types
> "movie player download" or browses some application catalog like Tucows,
> selects one with best reviews, downloads installer (in most cases he has
> to choose between installer for Windows 98/ME and installer for Windows
> 2000/XP), 3 clicks and he is done.
> So, here is my shot at solving this problem - One Click Installer
> (
> The idea is similar to this implemented in
>, but with broader scope
> (supporting all distributions, not only Debian-based) and more features.
> Installation file can contain definitions for multiple distributions,
> multiple channel types (APT, YUM, etc.). There is a possibility to
> specify  package sets in installation file to provide similar experience
> as in Windows installers (for example adding option to install
> documentation, fonts, language support, etc.).
> You can see example at this screenshot:
> User is presented with single link which spawns installation wizard for
> any supported distribution. For screenshots of wizard see:
> Link can be put anywhere: on web page (online catalog, application home
> page), blog ("look what cool application I have found", forum ("install
> this application to get wireless connection management"), etc.
> Installation file format supports localization of descriptions which are
> shown to user when installing. Installation tool itself can also be
> localized using .po files.
> Using One Click Installer it is possible to turn the whole huge (and
> nightmare for average users) installation page for Scribus
> (
> into one link:
> <a
> href="">Install
> Scribus</a>
> See:
> A few words about implementation:
> - Installation file can be signed using distribution GPG key to provide
> safety against tampering and confirm that it is not malware. For now,
> keys added using apt-key are allowed as signing keys. There is also a
> possibility of creating unsigned installation files or signing using
> untrusted key (as a verification measure or when key is distributed
> using some other way).
> - Tool is implemented in Python.
> - Currently tool works on Ubuntu (should work also on Debian) using APT
> repositories, file format can handle also other software channels and
> package formats.
> - Tool frontend is written in Qt, but due to strict separation of
> frontend and backend it should be quite easy to implement other
> frontends (especially Gtk).
> If you can want to help with development (adding other frontends,
> backends and porting to distributions), please write to project mailing
> list: one-click-installer-devel at
> File format specification could especially benefit from look of some XML
> guru, as I am definitely not XML expert.
> Please forward this announcement to people who might be interested in
> creating cross-distribution installation file format (in Debian, Suse,
> Mandriva, etc.). Having common, simple installation wizard will be
> benefit for everyone.
> One Click Installer has been developed for my Ubuntu derived distro:
> Olá! OS ( - in Polish) and is used to provide my users
> with online software catalog. I want to contribute it back to Ubuntu
> community as part of thanks for creating such great distro :)
> Comments welcome
> 	Krzysztof Lichota

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