Latest thoughts on user level package management

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at
Mon Jun 15 07:32:56 UTC 2015

On 11 June 2015 at 13:07, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at> wrote:
> On 4 June 2015 at 17:41, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at> wrote:
>> = Aleph 4: Developer components =
>> Publication format: nix???
>> Build system: ????
>> Consumption formats: nix???
>> = Aleph 5: Upstream components =
>> Publication format: language dependent
>> Build system: ????
>> Consumption formats: language dependent
> Colin's latest rpm-ostree announcement on atomic-devel highlighted a
> very interesting contribution from Alexander Larsson which better
> leverages our existing work on improving RPM dependency management:
> using kernel-free rpm-ostree builds to define container contents.
> Folks can then use OS level containerisation tools like Docker,
> systemd-nspawn, xdg-app or linux-user-chroot to separate these
> environments from the main system environment. That last one is
> particularly important, as it's designed to let you spawn new isolated
> environments *without needing root access yourself*:
> Service containers and other application level update management silos
> would be composed via rpm-ostree from Aleph 0-3 components, while
> default installations of host platforms would be composed from Aleph
> 0-1 components.
> If we went down that path, then the separation between Alephs 4 & 5
> wouldn't be necessary

On further reflection, I realised the Aleph 4/5 split still made
sense, but I had the conditions for crossing the gap wrong. Rather
than being based on repackaging, it made more sense to distinguish
packages that had been reviewed for whether or not Fedora could
reasonably distribute them vs those that Fedora contributors hadn't

I've now written up a draft of this idea at

I changed the proposed tier names as follows:

Aleph 0: Essential components
Aleph 1: Integrated components
Aleph 2: Policy compliant components
Aleph 3: Repackaged components
Aleph 4: Redistributed components
Aleph 5: Upstream components

Each tier name is now designed to be a superset of the lower numbered
tiers such that Aleph 0 packages are: redistributed, repackaged,
policy compliant, integrated and essential.

The wikified draft also has a summary table at the top describing the
differences at the various tiers.


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at   |   Brisbane, Australia

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