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Porting DPKG!


I've ported dpkg (dselect and everything) to Solaris, Digital Unix,
and FreeBSD.  Basically, the programs themselves run, and if I override
dependencies, etc., then I can install stuff.  I've made a number of
packages for each of the platforms, mostly gnu stuff.

I'm planning on writing a complete report when I'm done, so I'll skip
most of the details now.  The port was really easy; the biggest issue
so far is that a lot of the make files in blah/debian/rules presume
that /bin/sh is bash, which really screws all sorts of shit up on these
three platforms.  Anyway, things are going well.

The next step is for me to bootstrap a machine using dpkg.  I've got a
AlphaStation500 set aside for the purpose, complete with a clean Digital
Unix installation.  I'm creating "dummy" packages for the base packages
(libc, man, login, sysvinit, etc.) which are already installed on the
system as part of the DU installation.  These will have no real files
associated with them, but will allow other, real packages to be installed,
and for dependency calculations to procede with a minimum of fuss.

The problem is that I don't really understand the bootstrap process.
How is everything in /{usr,var}/lib/dpkg/ created by the boot floppies?
What is the division of labor?  Does dpkg create it, or is there an
installation script, or is the job split all over the place?

I could just go ahead and hack up something to create methods, available,
status, etc., but I'd like to reuse whatever already exists, for obvious
reasons.  If someone could expound on the setup process which happens
on the boot floppies, and maybe include some pointers to the relevant
source files, then I'd be most appreciative.

We at Mindspring plan on using dpkg to manage the software on all of
our server machines, if we can get it to do the job to our satisfaction
(which I think we can.)  I plan on feeding everything back to the project,
of course, and like I said, I plan on writing and publishing a report on
the project when I'm done.  Is anyone else interested in such a project?
Would progress reports to the devel group be appreciated?

Todd Graham Lewis       Manager of Web Engineering    (800) 719-4664, x2804
******Linux******         MindSpring Enterprises      tlewis@mindspring.net

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