RISC OS cogwheel

— The RISC OS Packaging Project —


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Version 0.0.1 (25 Dec 2003)

RiscPkg is a package manager for RISC OS. Its three main functions are:

  • to download and install new software packages on request;
  • to update installed software packages when new versions are released; and
  • to remove software packages when they are no longer needed.

Unnecessary interaction with the user is avoided. Once the user has set policy for whereabouts different types of file should be placed, RiscPkg implements that policy automatically. If one package requires another in order to run, a request to install the first package will cause the second to be installed also. If a package has been installed automatically but is no longer needed, it is removed.

Software must be distributed using a specific package format to make this behaviour possible. Initially the number of packages available in this format is likely to be quite small but it is hoped that the collection will grow with time.

Although RISC OS does not need a package manager in quite the same way as (for example) GNU/Linux does, there are benefits to be gained by using one:

  • The work needed to keep large numbers of packages up to date is greatly reduced.
  • Dependencies (such as modules and fonts) can be satisfied automatically.
  • An easy mechanism for satisfying dependencies makes it more likely that resources will be shared.
  • A package collection will make software easier to find, and help to ensure its quality and continued availablilty.

The user guide can be found here

Bootstrap the package system using a copy of RiscPkg from here