App installer design: click packages

Colin Watson cjwatson at
Mon May 13 17:48:03 UTC 2013

On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 12:05:57PM -0300, Alejandro J. Cura wrote:
> Colin Watson wrote on 08/05/13 11:14:
> > Is there anything else people can think of that a system like this
> > needs to consider?
> This thread assumes that packages need to be uncompressed and
> installed before usage, so I'd like to ask if there was any discussion
> re: using something like squashfs images as the distributed packages
> instead of a zip or tar-like file.

I know some of the other relevant systems do this, and I did think about
it.  The main downside I see is that I want apps to be always fully
present on the filesystem; it doesn't make so much difference on a
phablet, I suppose, but later on a desktop system people are going to
want to look around manually, symlink to things, wrap things in scripts,
etc.  If we use a mounted-image scheme that then implies that we need to
take care to mount all apps at boot time.  I'm concerned about the
possible effect on boot speed and reliability that that could have.  I'm
also not clear that there's been much research on whether this type of
scheme has significant negative effects on things like elevator
algorithm performance, caching, etc.

The bottom line for me is that I'd like to keep things as simple as
possible, and unpacking seems to me to be essentially simpler than a
persistent-loop-mount scheme.


Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson at]

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