"As we have seen from our current series on package management tools,
the wide variety of options for managing software in distributions can
be confusing at times. Isn't there a way of unifying the various
utilities under one one set of commands that would work on all the
different Linux systems? PackageKit, developed by Fedora, is trying to
do just that. Here is a nice interview with the developers of
KPackageKit, a graphical front-end to PackageKit. So what exactly is it
and how does it work? "PackageKit is an abstraction layer above several
package managers (YUM, APT, Conary...). It hence defines a standard
interface to interact with the package manager on any system, and allows
deeper integration with the desktop. PackageKit is a daemon started on
demand via dbus, all the commands to the daemon are also passed via
dbus, which makes it platform independent. The actions are controlled by
PolicyKit, which allows to define precisely the rights of each user.
Historically, PackageKit was shipped with a glib-based abstraction
library, and a GTK+ front-end."