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.