FOSDEM '08 is a free and non-commercial event organised by the community, for the community. Its goal is to provide Free and Open Source developers a place to meet.


Schedule: PackageKit

Richard Hughes
Day Sunday
Room Janson
Start time 15:00
End time 15:45
Duration 00:45
Event type Podium
Track Packaging
Language English
Video (Ogg/Theora)

The presentation will give a complete overview of PackageKit along with background material.

The presentation will first highlight the issues that need solving, and expose the problems we have in the current suite of tools. It will examine other update solutions such as Microsoft Windows Vista (tm), Apple Mac OS X (tm) and also what has been done with some Linux distributions.

The main section of the talk will introduce PackageKit, expose the internal design and explain any important ideas and design choices.

Finally, ways to use PackageKit are discussed, along with screenshots of all the latest GUI tools. Time will remain for questions and discussion about PackageKit at the end.

PackageKit is a system designed to make installing and updating software on your computer easier. The primary design goal is to unify all the software graphical tools used in different distributions, and use some of the latest technology like PolicyKit to make the process suck less.

Use cases for PackageKit exist for the following scenarios:

  • Boot time security updates
  • Installing files automatically, e.g. openoffice-clipart
  • Installing software required for new hardware, e.g. smart-card readers
  • Allowing unprivileged users to install software in a corporate build
  • Opening unknown file formats
Formally, PackageKit is a D-Bus abstraction layer that allows the session user to manage packages in a secure way using a cross-distro, cross-architecture API.