OpenPKG 2.0 released

Posted by dave on Feb 25, 2004 4:54 AM EDT
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The OpenPKG project releases version 2.0 of the unique cross-platform software packaging facility.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 25-Feb-2004 -- Munich, DE -- February 25, 2004 -- The OpenPKG project is proud to announce version 2.0 of its OpenPKG software, another evolutionary step after a series of four predecessors. Much valued by IT decision makers and beloved by Unix system administrators, OpenPKG is the world leading instrument for deployment and maintenance of Open Source software when administration crosses Unix platform boundaries. The unique OpenPKG architecture leverages proven technologies like Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) and OSSP and GNU components to establish a unified software administration environment, independent of the underlying operating system.


OpenPKG platform support has doubled and OpenPKG 2.0 is now available for 16 different Unix flavors. Most notably, it is supported on FreeBSD 4.9 and 5.2, Debian GNU/Linux 3.0, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, Red Hat Fedora Core 1, SuSE Linux 9.0, and Sun Solaris 8 and 9. Additionally, all CORE and the vast majority of BASE class packages are already available for the tentative platforms Debian GNU/Linux 3.1, Gentoo Linux 1.4.3, Sun Solaris 10 and still available for the obsoleted (end-of-life) platforms Debian GNU/Linux 2.2, Red Hat Linux 9, SuSE Linux 8.2, and Sun Solaris 2.6.

Since the previous release a half year ago, the OpenPKG package repository has again grown by 20%. A subset of 473 packages were carefully selected for inclusion into the OpenPKG 2.0 release, including latest versions of popular Open Source Unix software like Apache, Bash, BIND, GCC, INN, MySQL, OpenSSH, Perl, Postfix, PostgreSQL, Samba, Squid, and Vim.

The major technical efforts for this release were spent on the RPM-based OpenPKG packaging framework. The most prominent change is the upgrade from RPM 4.0.2 to RPM 4.2.1 which contributes over three years of development, including support for concurrent package database operations and transactional safety. On top of this OpenPKG greatly enhanced RPM's portability and added tools for improved RPM database maintenance and troubleshooting.

The complete packaging was revamped to use GNU shtool's new platform identification. This allows both product and technology recognition in order to enable unambiguous naming and more accurate packaging.

Finally, OpenPKG extended the RPM capabilities by adding specification headers and sections to allow even more complete packaging, including package classification and automated vendor source tracking. To allow enterprise grade deployment and inventory integration, OpenPKG 2.0 provides ISO/IEC 11578:1996 compliant Universally Unique Identifiers (UUID) for reasonable OpenPKG instance identification.


OpenPKG has been tremendously helpful in our efforts to make Open Source software available to the entire campus. -- Dennis McRitchie, Princeton University.

Deployment of the OpenPKG infrastructure on a fleet of Sun Solaris machines has allowed our organization to migrate away from a convoluted, out-of-date, shared NFS directory to a cleanly managed and easily upgraded package system. This is light-years ahead of any vendor alternative from Sun. -- Matt Hoosier, Kansas State University.

OpenPKG has proven itself time and time again as an excellent base for the Kolab E-mail server. Nowhere else can one deploy such a rich set of applications, so consistently, across so many different platforms. The ability to move between different Unix platforms and GNU/Linux distributions while maintaining a consistent, high quality, environment is an invaluable tool for any administrator. OpenPKG is a natural choice for any organization or Free Software project that need to support various applications on a plethora of Unix systems. -- Stephan Buys, Code Fusion.

I would like to see every Unix operating system make use of this approach so that installation and upgrade of software finally lose the aura of magic and adventure. -- Christian Reiber, Zeppelin.

We are moving all our internal and customer's systems to OpenPKG which has simplified our development and support. -- Bill Campbell, Celestial Software.


  • Portable across major Unix flavors.

  • Available for the supported platforms:
    FreeBSD 4.9/5.2, Debian Linux 3.0, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3,
    Red Hat Fedora Core 1, SuSE Linux 9.0 and Solaris 8 and 9.
  • Already available for the tentative platforms:
    Debian GNU/Linux 3.1, Gentoo Linux 1.4.3, Sun Solaris 10.
  • Still available for the obsoleted platforms:
    Debian GNU/Linux 2.2, Red Hat Linux 9, SuSE Linux 8.2,
    and Sun Solaris 2.6.

  • Entirely based on Open Source software technology.
  • Minimum operating system intrusion and dependency.
  • Minimum overhead in software packaging.
  • Sources of 473 CORE+BASE+PLUS packages released.
  • Binaries of CORE+BASE class packages provided for supported platforms.
  • Binaries of CORE class packages provided for all platforms.
  • Easy installation, updating and deinstallation of packages.
  • Bundled with useful and secure package preconfigurations.
  • Includes an abstracted and powerful run-command facility.
  • Virtual hosting through multiple instances on a single system.
  • Proxy packages for reusing packages across instances.
  • Build-time package variations for maximum flexibility.
  • Foundation to build encapsulated and self-contained environments.


The OpenPKG project was founded in 2000 by Cable & Wireless, who first released it as Open Source software in January 2002. Today OpenPKG is a mature technology in production use, and is maintained and improved by its original developers and volunteer contributors.

OpenPKG is the brainchild of Ralf S. Engelschall, principal author of numerous other popular Open Source Software technologies like OSSP components, Apache SSL/TLS Engine (mod_ssl), Apache URL Rewriting Engine (mod_rewrite), GNU Portable Threads (Pth), GNU Portable Shell Tool (Shtool), Website META Language (WML) and more.


The OpenPKG Project
+49-89-92699-251 (CET)
+49-172-8986801 (CET)

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