[LEDE-DEV] externalizing package management?

Oswald Buddenhagen oswald.buddenhagen at gmx.de
Sun Jan 8 04:53:09 PST 2017


openwrt aims to be a "proper" linux distribution, and therefore comes
with on-device package management.

but we know that to be a problem for the more space-constrained devices.
also, the space constraints make the package manager pretty dumb by
modern standards. both issues have been raised in recent threads.

so how about optionally externalizing (package) management?

a typical admin session would look like this:
- select target device
- sync with device
  - to connect with pre-existing devices.
  - to still support direct on-device modifications, though it's
    conceivable to build images which don't provide the tools for that.
  - to support multiple management machines, even if realistically
    speaking most devices are administered from a single desktop/laptop
- do modifications with powerful desktop tools
- sync back to device
  - individual files
  - or create and flash image
- tell device to reboot, or at least (re-)load some services (the latter
  is obviously a lot more work to implement)

the syncing itself should be probably just done via ssh (mostly fish, as
known from midnight commander), as it also offers the option to invoke
sysupgrade, reboot, and to start/reload services without using an
additional protocol.

with this concept, it would be also possible to integrate the
kernel/rootfs into the package management, which would improve
usability. and obviously, it would nicely solve the system upgrade
problem, which is how i arrived here in the first place.


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