Use KPackageKit as the package manager for Kubuntu.

Release Note

Kubuntu now uses the cross distro Package Kit to install software.


Means we no longer have to maintain our own package manager.

There are cons to package manager. Broken dependencies result in an error message and can't be over ridden, There is no debconf support. When a user changed a config file that gets changed in the package the user is given no choice on what to do. Since these issues should not affect the majority of desktop users we will live with them until they are fixed in package kit.

Use Cases

Celeste wants to install Umbrello. She loads up KPackageKit and installs it. She does not cry.


Package and add kpackagekit to seeds. It will need policykit-kde packaged too.

Celeste will review the user interface for improvements that can be made and will decide if it should be run standalone or within system settings.

The settings page can not add repositories so until that is possible replace it with software-properties-kde which should be integrated with system settings (pending decision above).

Use the KPackageKit update notifier (which should be better integrated with KDE) and remove the package update feature from update-notifier-kde.

The main difference between KPackageKit and our previous setup is the simplified add/remove interface. We will code this interface into KPackagekit by offering to filter for applications, an option supported by package kit but not yet by the apt backend.

Remaining Issues

Package Kit has some issues for Debian distros, it doesn't show debconf questions and it doesn't ask what to do for conffile upgrades. We consider these not to be major issues for desktop users who do not usually edit files in /etc, or install servers such as mysql, and it is sufficiently preferable to use a package manager which does not need to be maintained by Kubuntu developers.

There is a proposal to write a custom packagekit packend for Ubuntu which uses Synaptic which would ask for debconf/conffile questions, if this happens we will write an equivalent backend for Kubuntu which uses our install-package PyKDE application.


KubuntuJauntyPackageManager (last edited 2009-01-07 18:46:07 by jr)