PackageKit

When I first used Fedora, PackageKit didn’t exist. I had no Internet connection either. So I used a local repository that I had to configure with a lot of reading and googling. I was a newbie with no Internet connection, using one of the most difficult distros by that time. So, I managed to compile most applications which did not install by default or not contained in the media install. It was a lot of work and learning. When I finally accomplished my local repository I said “C’mon, what do I need Windows for?

It was something I had to do every time there was a new Fedora release, until I get Internet connection using Fedora 9, and then PackageKit came. It was so dissapointing. I switched to Yumex with some relief. But then I realized that the most fastest and practical way to install your packages was yum. Simply.

Everybody was complaining about PackageKit.

And thus is how I said goodbye to PackageKit and had a big welcome for the simplest and fastest way to install in Fedora: yum.

Recently someone told me Packagekit is no more the turtle it used to be; but, sorry, I am happy installing via yum🙂

Besides, even installing with yum I get PackageKit causing this never ending error:

$ sudo yum install compiz-fusion
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, presto, refresh-packagekit
Existing lock /var/run/yum.pid: another copy is running as pid 9189.
Another app is currently holding the yum lock; waiting for it to exit...
The other application is: PackageKit
Memory : 84 M RSS (108 MB VSZ)
Started: Sun Feb 7 16:56:08 2010 - 01:00 ago
State : Uninteruptable, pid: 9189
Another app is currently holding the yum lock; waiting for it to exit...
The other application is: PackageKit
Memory : 84 M RSS (108 MB VSZ)
Started: Sun Feb 7 16:56:08 2010 - 01:02 ago
State : Uninteruptable, pid: 9189

This error comes when PackageKit is locked to fetch update database. It does that in the background.

Maybe some day I give it a try, though it may be just to make things easier for someone is used to install in graphical mode.

16 comentarios en “PackageKit

  1. When I was new to both Linux and Fedora (not that long ago) using then Pirut and Packagekit were lifesavers. Packagekit and Yum have come a long way in speed since then. Packagekit is very important, I believe, for new users and people who don’t want to have to drop down to the command-line; For some people it is just too unnatural, we’re talking Windows converts like I was.

    I just use ‘yum update’ on the command-line now and appreciate all the feedback it gives me, I’m a tinkerer like other Linux users but if we want to have a distro that _anyone_ has the chance of using then we need Packagekit.

    Exciting features of Packagekit I think are looking for codecs and fonts automatically, stuff like that is really great.

    1. Hi, Jon.

      I agree with you.

      I used Pirut back those days. Now I know it is important to have PackageKit, specially for Windows converts. Sometimes I get expressions like ‘it’s because you like living back in the 90s’, but I say there’s no reason to worry if you can have tools so useful as a graphical front-end like PackageKit.

      Greetings.

    1. No idea back then. I was as new to Fedora as I was to Linux🙂 and I liked Fedora because it became a challenge for me. Other distributions didn’t give me the learning experience I got with the blue hat.

  2. @teoton I would then encourage you to retract the apparently irresponsible statement:

    “I was a newbie with no Internet connection, using one of the most difficult distros by that time. ”

    If you did not know what the other distros at the time were like, how can you possibly claim to know that Fedora was one of the most difficult ones?

    I’ve been using Linux since I was in high school, well before Fedora existed, and when Fedora came out, it was generally thought that Red Hat, Fedora, and Mandrake were ‘newbie’ and ‘easy’ distros, and Slack, Debian, and Gentoo were for experts, with Slack and Gentoo being the most difficult. I can say this having tried and ran all of them at the time.

    1. Though you may be right, my statement is just an opinion I have referring back in time. Not once, no two times I have found someone telling me Fedora is an enterprise distribution.

      Obviously you had sometime using Linux before Fedora got to your hands. It was not my case.

      Greetings, again.

  3. Fred dijo:

    The problem I see now with Packagekit is the search functionality.

    You CANT search for “this AND that”. You can only search for “this OR that”. This results in huge results and not very specific searches.

    I guess the above is a limitation with yum itself and not Packagekit per se, but at least on the command line you can : ‘yum search foo | grep bar’ to try to get better results but it still sucks.

    In the same vein, ( unwanted search results ) , Richard figured that users really want applications in the search results so he made a proposal ( http://blogs.gnome.org/hughsie/2009/03/05/application-installing/ ) . Lets see what comes of that.

  4. @teoton If it is your ‘feeling’ that Fedora was one of the most difficult, you should qualify your statement like so:

    BEFORE:

    “using one of the most difficult distros by that time”

    AFTER:

    “using what I felt was one of the most difficult distros by that time”

    If you have people telling you Fedora is an enterprise distribution, they are very misinformed and really just plain wrong. Doesn’t it make it right to keep perpetuating falsehoods like that.

  5. Keshav dijo:

    I still get that error from PackageKit but in state ‘sleeping’:

    # yum install wget
    Loaded plugins: presto, refresh-packagekit
    Existing lock /var/run/yum.pid: another copy is running as pid 16662.
    Another app is currently holding the yum lock; waiting for it to exit…
    The other application is: PackageKit
    Memory : 35 M RSS ( 48 MB VSZ)
    Started: Fri Jun 11 14:19:19 2010 – 00:14 ago
    State : Sleeping, pid: 16662

  6. Keshav dijo:

    sorry, I pressed the ‘submit’ button too early.

    # ps auxwww|grep 16662
    root 16662 10.0 0.8 49052 35344 ? SN 14:19 0:02 /usr/bin/python /usr/share/PackageKit/helpers/yum/yumBackend.py get-updates none

    This runs for a few minutes. I am hesitant to kill it since I don’t know the consequences. Any idea why it happens? Thanks.

    1. Hi, Keshav. There are no bad consecuences, the daemon will lock yum later, anyway.

      PackageKit locks yum because it’s trying to download package lists, so you can’t have two instances of yum/PackageKit doing the same thing at once, that’s why yum gets locked. Kill it, anyway.

      Greetings.

  7. I think PackageKit is one of the most important things to come to the GNU/Linux desktop in years, the reason being that it brings a sense of uniformity to the desktop, across different distributions and package managers. No matter if I, as a user, have used Fedora (which uses yum/RPM’s) or Debian (which uses apt-get/.deb’s) or Arch Linux (which uses pacman/ABS), if PackageKit is installed, updating will look and feel the same, and be well integrated into my desktop environment.

    Of course, making something work across all distros like this is bound to be difficult, and I myself prefer to use the command line — but I definitely don’t want regular users to be forced to use the command line just to update their computer or install a program. The fact that PackageKit brings some uniformity to the updating process takes away the argument against GNU/Linux being too “scattered” and having too many distros etc.; in spite of the different back-ends, regular users don’t have to learn something new if they have to switch distros, and a Debian user can easily help their friend who is a Fedora user to update.

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