Documentation Team/Obsolete/Services Wrap native packages HOWTO

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The purpose of this Guide is to describe how to simplify the usage by activity or service developers of packages that are not included in the Sugar Platform but are well packaged by various GNU/Linux distributions.


  • If the service you are planing to use already exists on, just add its name to the requires field in your activity or service .info file.
  • Otherwise, read the rest of this document to learn how to create a service that represents a native package.

Detailed description

To use native packages, they should be wrapped into services. Such services are lightweight and contain only the appropriate information about native packages. By having service wrappers, we can collect all distro-specific information in one place, because various GNU/Linux distributions could have different names for the same upstream application.

Prime distributions list

According to, there are several distributions whose names could be mentioned in a service. The following table is a list of primary distributions from the top 100 for year 2009 (excluding source-based and special distributions), in most cases, their names will be the same in all derivative distributions.

Popularity Name in Packages Sugar support
2 fedora RPM (yum) yes
4 suse RPM yes
5 debian DEB yes
6 mandriva RPM (urpmi) yes
7 puppy PET no
10 archlinux Pacman yes
13 slackware TXZ no
38 moblin RPM no
40 frugalware FPM (TAR.BZ2) no
41 pardus PiSi no
74 altlinux RPM (APT) yes
89 turbolinux RPM no
91 crux TAR.GZ no
96 linuxconsole LCM no
99 yoper RPM no

Package wrappers are regular services, so read the Service Developers Guide first. file

In addition to the standard file, the wrappers' file contains the following:

  • Service section contains only
    • name
    • summary
    • description
    • homepage
  • It should contain one or more Distro:<name> sections
  • Distro: section with name *, describes common distro parameters.

Each Distro: section

  • should contain a name field which is a local package name for the service,
  • an optional buildtime-name field, which goes to the buildtime.xml feed, by default name will be used.
  • Applications could contain a main field with a full path to the exec file (which could be different for different distributions).


  • Create a file.
  • Add a Distro:* section with common distro parameters.
  • Add Distro:<name> sections, at least for sugar supported distributions.
  • Execute 0sugar push to upload changes to the server.
  • If a service's application is not well packaged, please consider the possibility of adding source and binary service implementations.

Known issues

  • In RO mode (check if some package is installed), 0install can work only with deb and rpm based distributions or, if PackageKit is installed, all distributions that current PackageKit version supports.
  • To install packages, the system should have PackageKit.