Manage packages at the file system level!


PackageFS is a user space file system that provides a common package manager interface and improve current package management features. Many GNU/Linux distributions use their own package manager that supplies specific commands in order to install or remove software, keep the system up-to-date or retrieve information about packages. We have developed a virtual file system that makes the administrator able to transparently perform all these operations on many different package managers through the standard file system abstraction. Using an ordinary file manager anyone who has the appropriate rights can immediately get packages information with the same complexity as reading a file, or install a package in the same way he creates a directory. Browsing the packages repository as a directory hierarchy is a great advantage indeed because of the possibility to perform many processing on packages as ordinary files operations like cat, grep, cd, cp, etc...

In PackageFS each installed package is represented by a directory which contains the symbolic links to each file owned by the package. This way, "by package" system view and access are provided. Furthermore we are planning to extend PackageFS features to implement system multi-administration: setting a specific owner for a package directory, administration rights can be restricted to a specific package or to a group of packages.

We are planning to support in the future also the Package file system remote mount over a network so that an administrator can transparently manage a cluster of computers with the same simplicity given by the file system abstraction.


Luca Ferroni : fferroni[at]