OpenPKG 4.x approaching

2009-12-07 by Thomas Lotterer

This has been posted to the “openpkg announce” mailing list on 2009-12-07

Dear fellows.
Time to keep you posted what’s going on in the world of OpenPKG.

OpenPKG 4.x concept

You might have noticed that the latest “openpkg” bootstrap package has been released on just before the end of the year 2007. Beginning 2008-01-01 OpenPKG has adopted the “Open Source Software Refinement” (OSSR) architecture which was first published on “Open Source Meets Business” event in January 2007. The substantial change was to split packages from the framework. The idea is to let users focus on using Software Stacks (SS), maintainers focus on maintaining Software Packages (SP) and developers focus on developing the Package Framework (PF).

SC + PS = SP

The OSSR architecture defines that Software Components (SC) are packaged into Software Packages (SP) by adding Package Specifications (PS). This is how OpenPKG worked all the time, so no change here. However, to emphasize this concept to the community, the license ownership has been transferred to the OpenPKG Foundation e.V. which is since then responsible to supply SPs and continues to issue them under BSD style Open Source license.

SP + PF = SS

The OSSR architecture also defines that Software Stacks (SS) are built from Software Packages (SP) by adding a Package Framework (PF). This is once again the way OpenPKG worked all the time, so no change here as well. However, what has been formerly known as the “bootstrap” has been renamed to the “framework”. The PF development is solely driven by the OpenPKG GmbH which owns the copyright of some core PF components.

OpenPKG 4.x licensing

The next generation of OpenPKG ships with full source code and the framework is subject to a commercial license. There is a license for free evaluation (EVAL), one license is free for creating examples, documentation and trainings (EXAMPLE), one license is free for “bleeding edge” “build from source” stacks (COMMUNITY). More licenses are possible with one variant being a time-limited promotional offering (PROMO). Finally, for static installations, a shareware license (VALUE) will be available for a small fee.

The framework is licensed and anyone who wants to run it has to acquire a license. The VALUE license works “per kernel”. This approach was chosen to encourage users to deploy many OpenPKG instances on one system, while still allowing fully administrative disjunct installations using chroots, jails, zones and vservers. In contrast, bare metal, hardware virtualization, and multiple kernels require additional licenses per se. The price is in the typical low cost shareware space and licenses can be obtained from an online shop soon. The VALUE license allows run-time usage of all OpenPKG 4.x frameworks released in the past, the present one and all future frameworks within one year after purchase — as long as technically feasible. It has no run-time limitations related to space, time, packages, users, network, domain, processors, instances etc.

OpenPKG 4.x technology

The OpenPKG GmbH has great impact on RPM5 development. In fact it hosts the project infrastructure, and it is no surprise the infrastructure is built from OpenPKG 4.x with RPM5. Almost every OpenPKG improvement which was previously developed for RPM4 has not only been ported to, but has become an integral part of, RPM5.

There is a smooth but short upgrade path where both the old bootstrap and the new framework will continue to work with old and CURRENT packages, providing full interoperability. Backwards compatibility in all areas from package file format, package database, package specifications and instance administration was the major goal for OpenPKG 4.x. However, in order to unleash the power of the new framework it is inevitable that packages leverage new features. This evolution will break compatibility between the RPM4 based <=2007 and RPM5 based >=2010 generations. Please note there are no plans to enhance, bug- or security fix, port or otherwise improve the 2007 bootstrap, nor are there any plans of maintaining dual packages. Expect 2009-12-31 being the end of the RPM4-based and 2010-01-01 being the start of RPM5-based OpenPKG development. Needless to say, this does in no way affect existing installations.

OpenPKG 4.x infrastructure

In order to consolidate services and introduce the new concept to the community we will disable RSYNC, FTP and CVS services on by 2009-12-31. The OpenPKG GmbH pushes the Package Framework (PF) to and the OpenPKG Foundation e.V. pushes the Software Packages (SP) to The resulting stacks can be downloaded from through HTTP. There are no replacements for RSYNC and FTP. The result is a HTTP based infrastructure where users work with packages only.

OpenPKG 4.x summary

  • Software Stacks (SS) = Package Framework (PF) + Software Packages (SP)
  • Full source code shipping
  • Open Source Software Packages (SP)
  • Shareware Package Framework (PF) with some licenses available for free
  • OpenPKG 4.x Beta available now
  • Shutdown of FTP, RSYNC and public CVS by the end of year 2009
  • HTTP access already available now
  • 2009-12-31 end of RPM4-based OpenPKG package development
  • 2010-01-01 start of RPM5-based OpenPKG package development

Now go ahead and build Software Stacks …


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