FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 28-Aug-2002
The OpenPKG project releases version 1.1 of the
unique cross-platform software packaging facility.
http://www.openpkg.org/ — Munich, DE — August 28, 2002 — The OpenPKG
project today announces the availability of the OpenPKG 1.1 software.
A flexible and powerful software packaging facility, OpenPKG eases
the cross-platform installation and administration of Unix software.
Consolidating different vendor approaches into a unified architecture,
it serves system administrators of large networks previously burdened
by non-conformant systems. OpenPKG leverages proven technologies like
Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) and provides an additional system layer on
top of the operating system. With OpenPKG, a new and unique method of
cross-platform software deployment is taking form.
Compared with earlier releases, OpenPKG 1.1 offers even more. Previously
with 167 released packages, the official OpenPKG repository has grown by
over 60% to 274 software packages. Preexisting packages are in top form
after upgrades to newer versions. Packages are also now divided into
CORE, BASE, and PLUS categories for more accurate security assessment.
Administrators have asked for more portability, and OpenPKG has
responded by increasing the number of supported platforms. Previously
on only three platforms, OpenPKG users now enjoy official support on
FreeBSD 4, RedHat Linux 7, Debian GNU/Linux 2, Debian GNU/Linux 3, Sun
Solaris 8 and Sun Solaris 9.
Improvements in OpenPKG's inherently strong security model now provide
more flexible user accounting, with finer granularity and control.
Previous versions used only the "manager" and "nobody" users and groups.
OpenPKG 1.1 adds the "superuser" and "restricted" users and groups.
Packages make use of these additional accounts to better abstract
security-sensitive code from generic functionality. OpenPKG 1.1 also
encapsulates its software base even more by integrating a "sane" build
environment into each OpenPKG instance. This prevents access to system
components not residing in OpenPKG's well defined scope, and avoids
package inconsistency between seemingly identical instances. Also useful
in testing, an administrator can now expect really reproducible results
from a package build.
To relieve cautious administrators, OpenPKG 1.1 software packages do not
alter system files anymore (like kernel parameters or /etc files). In
cases where such alteration is needed, OpenPKG recommends changes that
the administrator should manually undertake. Even such recommendation
is avoided however, and OpenPKG takes this course only when it cannot
provide the needed functionality inside the borders of its own instance.
As always, the only evidence of an OpenPKG introduction are three
system entry points (run-command scripts, cron table, and user/group
additions). These changes are made only during bootstrapping a new
OpenPKG instance, and all such changes are completely undone upon
deinstallation of OpenPKG.
During activation, all daemon packages inside an OpenPKG instance now
pay attention to special enable switches. This new feature allows
an administrator to deactivate a daemon by merely setting a switch
variable to "yes" or "no", whereas previously a daemon package had to be
completely deinstalled. To avoid the precarious editing of an OpenPKG
specification file, "--define" RPM command line options are now honored
during package build time. This allows an administrator to install
software variants by building custom binary packages. The results of RPM
queries include descriptions of all options that a package offers.
Proxy packages are first supported in OpenPKG 1.1, and allow an
administrator to reduce maintainance complexity through package reuse.
Should packages in several OpenPKG instances depend on the same base
package, it can now be installed only once in an arbitrary OpenPKG
master instance. Dependent packages can refer to the common base
package through natively installed proxy packages, created with the
OpenPKG-specific RPM option "--makeproxy".
HIGHLIGHTS OF OPENPKG
* Entirely based on Open Source technology.
* Portable across all major Unix platforms.
* Official support for FreeBSD, RedHat, Debian and Solaris.
* Minimum operating system intrusion.
* Minimum overhead in software packaging.
* Easy installation, updating and deinstallation of packages.
* Over 270 software packages available.
* Bundled with useful package preconfigurations.
* Support for multiple system instances.
* Support for proxy packages.
* Abstracted run-command facility.
ABOUT THE OPENPKG PROJECT
OpenPKG is a software packaging facility for Unix computers, and targets
the major server platforms FreeBSD, Linux and Solaris. While internally
based on RPM version 4, OpenPKG is a self-contained system with minimal
dependencies (no RPM preinstallation required) and installs itself by
means of a tricky bootstrapping procedure. OpenPKG eases and controls
the management of a large or diverse base of software across one or more
of its supported platforms.
OpenPKG is a project founded 2000 by Cable & Wireless Germany's Internet
Services division. In January 2002 it was released by Cable & Wireless
to the public as Open Source software. Since then OpenPKG is maintained
and improved by its original developers and contributors from the Open
Source community and is a mature technology in production use. OpenPKG
is the brainchild of Ralf S. Engelschall, team leader of Development in
Internet Services and principal author of numerous other widely used
Open Source Software technologies like Apache SSL/TLS Engine (mod_ssl),
Apache URL Rewriting Engine (mod_rewrite), GNU Portable Threads (Pth),
GNU Portable Shell Tool (Shtool), and Website META Language (WML).
The OpenPKG Project
Ralf S. Engelschall