embedded debian package management
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i want to use the debian package management system for an embedded
distribution on a MIPS platform. i am not as much interrested in
automatically building a static filesystem/kernel image, as in the
possibility to interactively apt-get install/update/remove packages on the
i have searched quite a bit on this topic and on the current status of
projects and there seem to be quite a lot of approaches and ideas, but only
little coordination of efforts and generally very vague information.
this is what i've found, please correct me if i'm wrong or if i missed
* ipkg seems to be quite popular on ARM handhelds and the familiar
distribution is may the biggest collection of "mini" debian packages. but i
read more than one time that they would maybe rather use dpkg if the project
would be started now. and i still dont know, how they make their mini
packages - manually???
* busybox includes a "dpkg" and supposedly there is also a patch for "apt-get"
(which i wasnt able to find unfortunately). this could be used instead of
debians (bigger) dpkg and apt-get or ipkg but does not solve to broblem of
making small packages.
* there has been talk that dpkg will support (supports?) finer granularity of
packages (eg. the exclusion of doc/ directories or maybe a "priority-zation"
of files). this would maybe - along with a smaller footprint dpkg - be the
cleanest solution. what is the state of this discussion? or is this even
* then there are udebs which are used by the debian installer, but aparently
nobody really likes(?) ;)
* uclibc buildroot has nothing to do with debian generally, but has a quite
complete information about cross-compiling issues and configurations for
embedded systems in its makefiles.
* emdebsys concentrates more on the creation of filesystems fitting its kernel
configuration, but aparently also takes the files out of debain packages and
has some heuristics which ones to exclude.
i think the most important thing would be to have a common place where
information about which parts of a package can be omitted in an embedded
setup is kept, so we do not have to manually delete doc/ directories and
figure out which files are essential on each different platform over and over
again. i think the best place for this would be the debian packages itself,
but if that is not feasible soon, there could be something external in the
then it would be nice to be able to (cross)-compile mini-packages instead of
"normal" debs (maybe with another target in debian/rules?), also against
other libraries (uclibc instead of glibc) and possibly with a different
configuration (the debian packages tend to be configured to include almost
every feature, which is maybe not needed on a small system).
this would essentially add a third "dimension" to debian: platform -
stable/testing/unstable - size.
please update me on the current status of these projects and tell me what you
think about these ideas.
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