Generic package installer for the packages that are not listed in your favourite package manager
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README.md

README.md

nixstall

Generic installer for *nix platform for the packages that are not listed in your favourite package manager.

Install just about anything from the url using the following command:

$ nixstall get http://somesite.com/package-1.2.3.zip

Or from the local filesystem using:

$ nixstall /path/to/package-1.2.3.zip

If it's the first time you are using nixstall, then use:

$ curl -L http://git.io/nixstall | bash -s get http://somesite.com/somepackage-1.2.3.zip

Features

  • Download and install archive from remote url or use from local filesystem

  • Install any standard package that has bin directory

  • nixstall manages itself automatically. You don't even need to install it.

  • Developers can distribute the snippet like the following for their packages as installer. curl -L http://git.io/nixstall | bash -s get http://yoursite.com/yourpackage-1.2.3.zip

  • Don't need to wait for the maintainer to update the package in package manager.

  • PATH updated automatically (dynamically)

  • No dependencies apart from bash and curl

Why?

Most packages follow a simple structure

+ archive(.zip)
|--+ package-v1.0.2/
|  |--+ bin/
|  |--+ lib/
|  |--+ etc/
|  ..

But Installation requires atleast three steps:

  1. Download a .zip,
  2. Extract it,
  3. And then set the path to its bin directory in PATH environment variable in dotfiles like .zshrc / .bash_profile.

The last step is quite error prone. Do you see a pattern? These three steps can be automated into one. And that's just what nixstall does well. No more pesky PATH editing.

Example

Let's install Ant. We know it lives here

curl -L http://git.io/nixstall | bash -s get http://archive.apache.org/dist/ant/binaries/apache-ant-1.9.3-bin.zip

This installs ant and in fact install nixstall as well. Now next time on you can use nixstall command directly and it all gets even terse when you use nixstall that's already there on your machine now:

Note: Ant can be, of course, installed with other package managers. I have chosen ant as an example because most of us know it and its binaries are small enough to be downloaded.

User guide

  1. Installing nixstall itself. Nixstall installs itself whenever you install any package for the first time. But if you want to install nixstall first :

     $ curl -L http://git.io/nixstall | bash -s self
    
  2. Getting archive directly from the site:

     $ nixstall get http://archive.apache.org/dist/ant/binaries/apache-ant-1.9.3-bin.zip
    
  3. Some archive that's already there on your machine:

     $ nixstall /path/to/apache-ant-1.9.3-bin.zip
    
  4. From already extracted dir:

     $ nixstall link /absolute/path/to/ant-1.9.3
    

    This just creates symlink and does not copy content.

  5. Listing paackages installed

     $ nixstall list
    
  6. Reloading path when new package is installed without opening new terminal

     $ nixstall reload
    
  7. Updating nixstall

     $ nixstall self
    
  8. Deleting single package, for example ant in this case. You can find path using nixstall list command

     $ rm -rf  ~/.nixstall/apache-ant-1.9.3        
    

    Nothing more to do (path is automatically managed)

  9. Deleting everything including nixstall

     $ rm -rf ~/.nixstall
    

    Also delete the line below # Added by nixstall from .zshrc / .bash_profile

Limitations

  • Archives must follow standard structure i.e. they must have bin directory in them.
  • Archives must be self contained. No post processing is supported.
  • You can potentially install multiple versions of same package, and all may end up in $PATH.

Troubleshooting

  • If the nixstall script or shell functions are not loaded for some reason, try: source ~/.nixstall/nixstall/bin/nixstall

  • If that does not exist, try one curl -sL http://git.io/nixstall | bash -s self

Supported On:

  • bash / zsh
  • Mac OS / Linux
  • Zip archives / extracted archives

Developing locally

  1. clone the repo

  2. edit bin/nixstall.sh

  3. run $ bash bin/nixstall.sh <..>