Embedded package managers sucks

Years ago someone wrote IPKG in pure shell. It can be still found in some distributions. Then it was rewritten into C and this version we used in OpenEmbedded derived systems. It had some bugs, we patched some of them, from time to time there was even upstream development done for it.

Then Openmoko arrived and forked IPKG — new project got OPKG name. It was written by OpenedHand and Openmoko developers. Their main goals were:

Many things got changed, OE patches got merged, new bugs was added. Those who use CLI version of opkg (so far the only usable client) lost some functionalities — for example there is no progress bar when packages are fetched.

For last few months OPKG is in unmaintained mode again and I think that this is some kind of curse on embedded market package managers.

Some time ago I discovered that when many (>50) packages needs to be upgraded then opkg segfaults during process and this is not a matter of going out of RAM as I have ~400MB free. Today it did not gave value of PATH for post install scripts… I wonder what else can be found ;(

What are other options? So far I know two — dpkg + apt or rpm + yum. First one costs few megabytes of space, second one require also Python so it is not acceptable for most of our targets. Both also require rebuilding of everything :(

bugs openembedded openmoko packages rpm