[sword-devel] The Sword Project on OpenSolaris

Greg Hellings greg.hellings at gmail.com
Sun Oct 5 19:29:11 MST 2008


On Sun, Oct 5, 2008 at 8:58 PM, Karl Kleinpaste <karl at kleinpaste.org> wrote:

> Greg, there were approximately two dozen pieces of information in your
> message for which I have exactly zero context.  Bear in mind that I have
> not used a Solaris machine in the better part of 15 years.

My apologies, I was very thick with the information.  I'll try and elucidate
a little more of it here.

> For starters, I have no knowledge of how to configure Solaris' package
> manager to use any other repository -- none of this GUI tool's menus
> offer any possibility of adding a new repository reference beyond just
> opensolaris.org, though there is a combobox in the upper right which
> would be useful, if such a thing had been configurable.  At the moment,
> it's got just 1 element, opensolaris.org.

Firstly, the system I am working in is not the OpenSolaris but the
commercial version of Solaris 10 (which is supposed to be virtually
identical to OpenSolaris, just a little behind in the packages and with
commercial tech support).  I have the ability to login with a GUI, but my
campus' VPN will not allow me to install it on a 64-bit operating system (my
home PC uses Vista 64-bit), so I have to connect to the Solaris system with
command-line for virtually all of my interaction with the system.  At that
level, if one uses a bash script for login, the system looks and functions
extremely similar to a Linux environment.  It is from the command line that
I use pkg-get, a system which is loosely based off of the Debian apt-get
packaging system, but rather than using .deb files, it uses standard Solaris
.pkg files.  Judging by the number of references I find to it in a Google
search, it seems that the system is reasonably well in use by people in the
Solaris community.

Since many people want access to the GNU tools and other open source
software, but do not necessarily want to deal with the minute differences
between the Linux and Solaris environments, a group called Community
SoftWare (CSW) offers the pkg-get tool that I mentioned above with a default
repository of certainly libraries and programs which are useful (mainly) to
developers who are looking for Linux-like library functionality in a Solaris
environment.  The CSW tools (pkg-get) are available at the website I
mentioned in my previous email, http://www.opencsw.org.  For my own research
on the Solaris system, I have found pkg-get to be an indispensible tool
which already has certain of the base libraries and packages which I and my
tools rely upon, and I recently installed the SWORD library to that same
machine in preparation of some research that I plan to do based off of SWORD
data, building it against the libraries installed with pkg-get (all of the
dependent libraries were available through pkg-get, except for CLucene).

One of the difficult things related to CSW and the pkg-get system is that it
requires the user to manually alter (in my .bashrc script) the variables for
PATH and PKG_CONFIG_PATH and so on to find the executables and libraries
that are installed by the system, to /opt.  Since I don't use the GUI login
except when my command-line login becomes corrupted or defunct, I can't
speak to the ease of installing the gnome packages that are available with
the CSW system or using them, but I can tell you that they are available
with a default installation of the pkg-get.

For my own part, I installed pkg-get, modified my .bashrc to update the PATH
and PKG_CONFIG_PATH variables to point them to the subdirectories of
/opt/csw where the packages were installed, and then was able to
effortlessly install mysql, apache2, icu, gcc, vim, etc with updated
versions that patched problems with the bundled versions for the Solaris
5.10 system.

> Also, you say that libxrender is in "both" repositories, but that's
> objectively not true when I am in the package tool, looking at "All"
> packages, and I search for "xre" -- empty set.
> In general, I have no knowledge of why any particular pkg-get script or
> tool is supposed to provide superior configurability beyond the GUI
> package tool I'm already using and so I have no reason to suppose it
> will be an improvement when the problem is not the package tool itself
> but the fact that the package in question is simply not there.

The pkg-get package is not intended to replace the default package
installation system, instead it is intended to supplement that system with
additional packages that Sun will not allow into the Solaris fold.  I
seriously doubt that it will be better than the GUI system.  I find that,
for package managers, I almost always prefer to use a GUI tool if I'm
looking for libraries which may or may not be in the package repository.
But, as a supplement for those packages which the standard package set of
Solaris excludes, pkg-get might be a useful addition to your system.

Hope this cleared some things up, and if you need any other help or
information, don't hesitate to ask again.


> Any further clues would be welcome.
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