SUMMARY: alfs direction

Thomas Pegg thomasp at
Fri Nov 25 12:39:25 PST 2005

Jeremy Huntwork wrote:
> Thomas Pegg wrote:

>> new format might be something similar to gentoo's ebuilds, which in 
>> most ways are just shell functions in a text file.
> I don't think I've looked that closely at gentoo's files, so I don't 
> know exactly what you mean, but jhalfs employs something that's probably 
> similar. When it extracts the commmands in the book, they end up looking 
> something like this:
> #!/bin/sh
> set -e
> cd $PKGDIR
> mkdir -v ../gcc-build
> cd ../gcc-build
> ../gcc-4.0.2/configure --prefix=/tools \
>     --with-local-prefix=/tools --disable-nls --enable-shared \
>     --enable-languages=c
> make bootstrap
> make install
> ln -vs gcc /tools/bin/cc
> exit
> The variable PKGDIR is the name of the unpacked directory for that 
> particular package. That variable is set via the unpacking of the 

> tarball before the above scriptlet is run. If you wanted to have finer 
> control over the build process (like isolating the configure, make and 
> install parts) it would take some rethinking.
Actually an ebuild is a little bit more structured through functions.

It's breaks down like this:
src_unpack - Unpacking and patching, etc here.
src_compile - configure and make
src_install - make install and any other install commands
src_test - commands needed to test a package (not used very often in gentoo)

It may not be real fine grain control, but there is some control there. 
You can have client tell the server to only run one piece of it at a 
time especially useful when debugging. Like with Gerard just posted 
about OpenOffice, the client would just tell the server to run only the 
src_install function, instead of re-running the whole thing. Now more 
fine grain control to say run only one command out of the function, 
would take some more work.

I think it's a good format that gives you control similar to what is 
currently in the xml based profiles, but without the xml.


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