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Alternative Package System for KISS
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KISS Alternative Package System

This is an alternative package system I am experimenting with. Instead of the usual PKGBUILD, APKBUILD, xbps-template and Pkgfile format, this repository explores a more unixy approach.

Each Package is split into multiple files.

zlib/            # Package name.
├─ build         # Build script.
├─ depends       # Dependencies (one per line) (sometimes optional).
├─ sources       # Sources (one per line).
├─ version       # Package version.# Files generated by the package manager.
├─ manifest      # The built package's files and directories.
├─ checksums     # The checksums for the source files.# Optional files.
├─ post_install  # Script to run after package installation.
├─ patches/*     # Directory to store patches.
├─ files/*       # Directory to misc files.

When a built package is installed, this entire directory tree is copied to /var/db/puke where it becomes a database entry. Listing the dependencies for a package is a simple as printing the contents of the depends file. Searching for which package owns a file is as simple as checking each manifest file.

This new structure also allows the package manager to be stupid simple. POSIX sh has no arrays. However, they are mimicked by looping over each line of each file. No more insecure depends="pkg pkg pkg" and for pkg in $depends.

Instead, the following can be done.

while read -r depend; do
    # do thing.
done < depends

This also means anyone can write a tool to manipulate the repository or even their own package manager. It's all plain text files delimited by a new line or a space.

Table of Contents

Getting started with puke

Puke is a simple package manager written in POSIX sh. The package manager does not need to be added to your PATH. Instead it runs inside the packages repository, very similar to Void Linux's xbps-src.

Puke has 6 different "operators".

  • build: Build a package.
  • checksum: Generate checksums for a package.
  • install: Install a built package.
  • remove: Remove an installed package.
  • list: List installed packages.
  • update: List packages with available updates.

puke build pkg

Puke's build operator handles a package from its source code to the installable .tar.gz file. Sources are downloaded, checksums are verified, dependencies are checked and the package is compiled then packaged.

puke checksum pkg

Puke's checksum operator generates the initial checksums for a package from every source in the sources file.

puke install pkg

Puke's install operator takes the built .tar.gz file and installs it in the system. This is as simple as removing the old version of the package (if it exists) and unpacking the archive at /.

puke remove pkg

Puke's remove operator uninstalls a package from your system. Files and directories in /etc are untouched. Support for exclusions will come as they are needed.

puke list or puke list pkg

Puke's list operator lists the installed packages and their versions. Giving list an argument will check if a singular package is installed.

puke update

Puke's update operator compares the repository versions of packages to the installed database versions of packages. Any mismatch in versions is considered a new upgrade from the repository.

The update mechanism doesn't do a git pull of the repository. This must be done manually beforehand. This is intentional. It allows the user to git pull selectively. You can slow down the distribution's package updates by limiting pulling to a week behind master for example.

The package format


The build file should contain the necessary steps to patch, configure, build and install the package. The build script is sent a single argument. This argument points to the package directory. Whatever is in this directory will become part of the package's manifest and will be copied to / (or $PUKE_ROOT). The first argument is frequently used in make DESTDIR="$1" install for example.

The build file can be written in any language. The only requirement is that the file be executable.

./configure \
    --prefix=/usr \
    --libdir=/lib \

make DESTDIR="$pkg_dir" install


The manifest file contains the built package's file and directory list. The full paths to files are listed first and the directories (in reverse) follow. This allows the package manager to remove the directories if they're empty without needing checks in-between.

The manifest also includes the package's database entry. You can install the package with or without puke and it will be recognized.



The sources file contains the package's sources one per line. Sources can be local or remote.


The depends file contains the package's dependencies one per line.



The version file contains the package's version as well as its release number. The format of this file is version release. The release portion allows a package upgrade without the modification of the version number.

The version can also be git 1 to specify that the package is built from the latest git head.

1.2.11 1


The checksums file contains the sha256 sums of each entry in the sources file. This is generated and verified automatically.

c3e5e9fdd5004dcb542feda5ee4f0ff0744628baf8ed2dd5d66f8ca1197cb1a1  zlib-1.2.11.tar.gz


The post-install file should contain any steps required directly after the package is installed. This includes updating font databases and creating any post-install symlinks which may be required.

Frequently asked questions

How do I change compiler options globally?

All you need to do is define CFLAGS, MAKEFLAGS or equivalent in your environment. Either give it to puke directly (CFLAGS=-O3 MAKEFLAGS=-j4 ./puke build zlib) or set it in your shell's RC file.

You can’t perform that action at this time.