Tag Archives: programming

The Best of the Web: 26/6/2012

Looking for something interesting to read? I read the following links(and visited websites) today and liked, you might want to read them/check them out

  1. Too Big to Chug: How Our Sodas Got So Huge  (Gulp soft drinks? Might find it interesting)
  2. Science Acquires Indian Startup Pinpuff to Measure and Monetize Influence On Pinterest  (Interesting startup)
  3. Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years   (The classic epic post by Peter Norvig)
  4.  How can I learn to program in Python? (Quora post with links to some very useful resources)
  5. http://www.surveymonkey.com (Great site to create free surveys)

Solaris Packaging Basics

This post intends to serve as a basic introduction/guide for Solaris Packages.

Package Basics:
A package is a collection of directories and files needed by a software product to run. A package contains product objects(app files that need to be installed) and control files(information files and installation scripts) that control what goes where and how.

Creating a Package:
To create a Package you need at least three objects namely “pkginfo” & “prototype” files and “package objects”.

pkginfo: contains the meta data for the package like name, desc, and destination for package objects(BASEDIR) it looks like:

NAME=Demo package for solaris

more on creating pkginfo files here

prototype: contains an entry for each package object detailing their destination path, entry(ies) for source path of those objects and an entry for each installation script.
sample prototype file:

i pkginfo=./pkginfo
i preinstall
i postinstall
!search SOURCE_DIR
d none /etc/ 0755 user other
f none /etc/demo-file.conf 0644 user other
f none /etc/demo-file2.conf 0644 user other
d none /var/log/demo-app 0644 user other

Line 1 specifies the path for information and installation files(all files are on same level here).
Line 2 and 3 signify that two scripts namely preinstall and postinstall are to be included in the package and executed before and after installation of package respectively.
Line 4 specifies the directory where the files mentioned in next two lines will be found
Note: The search is limited to the specific directories listed and does not search recursively.
Line 8 will create the directory demo-app in /var/log.
do “pkgproto ./SOURCE_DIR/ > prototype” to create a basic prototype file(replicating SOURCE_DIR’s structure)

more on prototype file here

do “pkgmk -o” to build the package (once built the packages go to “/var/spool/pkg”)

Installing Packages:
login as root and do “pkgadd” and choose the package you need to install.

GZipping Packages:
move to /var/spool/pkg and do
“tar -cf – DemoPackage | gzip -9 -c > DemoPackage.1.pkg.tar.gz”


1) It would be a better option to write a script that generates “pkginfo” & “prototype” files and builds the package.
2) I wrote such a script in python that
a) reads a config file(using ConfigParser) containing meta data for package.
b) calls a shell script that makes the “pkginfo” file using pkgproto command(and parameters sent by py script) and creates a temp prototype file replicating a directory which has all the directories and files that need to be ported.
c) append multiple “!search SOURCE_DIR” to accommodate sub directories(I couldn’t find a cleaner way).
d) make changes to the destination paths for individual files that need to go to custom locations.

1) Official Documentation
2) http://pkgbuild.sourceforge.net/
3) http://www.sunfreeware.com/pkgadd.html
4) http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/packages/solaris/sparc/html/creating.solaris.packages.html
5) http://www.akadia.com/services/solaris_application_packaging.html