From: Thomas Leonard <tal00r@ec...> - 2003-04-26 16:04:52
As some of you know, I've been working on the Zero Install system quite a
Essentially, this removes the need to install software or libraries, by
running all programs from a network filesystem. The filesystem in question
is the Internet as a whole, with an aggressive caching system to make it
as fast as (or faster than) traditional systems such as Debian's APT
repository. It also doesn't require any central authority to maintain it
(distributions can still provide patched versions, quality control, bug
tracking, etc, but it becomes an extra to the basic method of getting
software, potentially shared by all distributions).
It allows any user to run software, since there is no need to be root to
'install' things. It's safer, since there are no preinst or postinst
scripts to run as root. It's faster, because it only downloads what it
needs, and doesn't need to search multiple locations (/usr, /usr/local,
etc) to find resources.
To make that a bit clearer, you can type:
$ rox /uri/http/zero-install.sourceforge.net/demo
to open a directory of ROX applications. Click on one (eg, Memo) to run
it. Instead of searching for ROX-Lib in /usr/lib, /usr/local/lib and ~/lib
and complaining if it's not found, it will instead use
/uri/http/zero-install.sourceforge.net/libs/ROX-Lib directly, causing it
to be downloaded if it's not already cached.
The applications in this network share can be dragged to the pinboard or
panel, etc as normal.
In addition to ROX-Lib and a couple of ROX applications, the share also
contains glib (from GTK), pkg-config, gettext and XFree86 4.3 (server and
client side stuff; you can use either or both). Eg:
$ cd /uri/http/zero-install.sourceforge.net/libs/XFree86/4.3.1/Linux-i386/bin
$ ./xterm -version
The software is highly experimental, but I'd like a few people to try it
out. It only works on Linux 2.4.x series kernels at the moment, and you'll
need to compile a kernel module. Packagers would be welcome! DO NOT run it
on anything important... I'm a newbie to kernel hacking, and mistakes here
can be nasty ;-)
But if you're bored, some feedback would be very welcome...
Thomas Leonard http://rox.sourceforge.net
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