The coolest package manager and deployment tool.
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coolpkg is a source level package manager inspired heavily by nix.

The project goals are as follows:

  • Reproduceable builds always.
  • Encourage users to curate their own custom/packaged package tree/repo, make this easy. (Package lists can be packages.)
  • Forking a package and adding custom changes is just a single file copy. You could make a package to patch a package.
  • Mixing versions of packages freely on the same machine, no dependency hell ever.
  • Work on freebsd/openbsd.
  • Different package trees per OS, don't force abstractions. Ok to depend on BSD base systems/compilers.
  • Push self contained packages to other machines via ssh, even if they don't have coolpkg.
  • Nix's power, just far far simpler in nearly every way.


Prototype and proof of concept.

Getting started:

Add coolpkg and coolpkg-install to your path (requires python3).

Try the example:

Read the file example.coolpkg, hopefully it is quite simple.

run the command below to install the package and it's dependencies to ~/coolpkgstore/:

$ coolpkg-install ./example/example.coolpkg

This will do some cool things...

  • Install a package set from a git url and install that as a package.
  • Install go1.9 from that set, implicitly knowing to use go1.4 from the same set to bootstrap itself.
  • Install some other fun software.
  • Print out a 'virtual env' you can use for running the software.

How it works:

coolpkg-build hashes the package files and any arguments provided and uses that to calculate the install directory. The package is content addressed, if you change any aspect of a package, including it's dependencies, the install paths change, they never conflict and shared dependencies are shared.

package scripts are simply shell scripts with dependency information prepended.

package scripts have a simple contract, to follow - install into $out (currently ~/coolpkgstore/$HASH/), be reproducible by only using your listed dependencies (currently enforced by wiping $PATH).


  • Implement the garbage collector coolpkgs-collect-garbage [rootdir...]
  • Better isolation of builds, fewer stuff in bootstrap.coolpkg.
  • Write the best documentation in the world. Show how to do atomic upgrades by building a set of symlinks as a package, then using mv to overwrite an old one.