A plug for blastwave.org

July 28, 2006

Oscar del Rio's comment on a previous entry has led me to take a look at blastwave.org for my Sun freeware needs; I had previously tried out sunfreeware.com, mostly because that comes up first for a Google search on [Sun Freeware].

Blastwave is a breath of fresh air on Solaris, in that it is a clumsier version of what I've come to expect as basic functionality from Linux package managers like apt and yum: you have your automatic fetching of stuff and running of pkgadd, you have dependencies (that get automatically fetched too), and you even have digital signatures. Solaris being Solaris, pkgadd will periodically stop to ask you questions and the whole thing is a bit noisy (and slow).

But that's all just convenience. The way Blastwave has won my heart is by putting all of its stuff in one place that it owns completely, /opt/csw. This is clearly the right way on Solaris, since the convention is that you put your stuff in a directory in /opt and no one else touches it.

By contrast, Sunfreeware seems to like dumping stuff in /usr/local. This makes me nervous and unhappy, because a lot of things may feel that they have a right to drop stuff in /usr/local, and this is a recipe for collisions and problems down the road.

The downside of blastwave.org is that it eats up a lot of disk space; using it to install just Subversion, NTP, and GNU textutils on a system used up 179 megabytes of disk space and wound up with 25 packages.

Written on 28 July 2006.
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Last modified: Fri Jul 28 01:56:49 2006
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