The idea of having the ability to install most of the programs available in the free software market from a simple application is both an exciting and practical feature..
My initiation to package managing software was with Adept on Kubuntu 8.04 and I was very happy with it as a newbie..Being satisfied, I continued using it till two weeks ago, when a clean install of Kubuntu 9.04 introduced me to Kpackagekit..It comes preinstalled for the first time in Kubuntu with the current release (Jaunty), and it’s the system’s default package manager.
At the beginning I must admit that I really liked the simple interface and the way you select which packages-updates to install/remove blends with the whole KDE 4.2 philosophy..
However, after using Kpackagekit as my main package manager for a while, various problems started to occur, for which I haven’t found any solutions yet..
Currently my main problem is a bug that many users have reported to come across to..
I did a bit of searching around but I couldn’t find a solution to it..I read on a comment on Bugzilla that “the error “you need to fork” is a developer message to the backend authors”..I don’t understand exactly what this means, but I realize that it’s not something that a simple user can fix.. =)
According to the developer of KPackagekit the required packages to compile it are:
“PackageKit 0.4 (ATTENTION HERE!!)
– The package provided here does NOT contain libpackagekit-qt 0.4 – (It’s now included in PackageKit /lib sources)
PackageKit itself, so please first make it work on YOUR distro.
Qt >4.4 (Won’t compile with older versions)
KdeLibs of Kde4
Policykit-KDE (YEAH now kde has one interface too :D)”
Another annoying problem that I had was installing miscellaneous updates..I probably had conflicting packages installed but Kpackagekit gave me no information on that..It only crashed and showed error reports..I then remembered that I had read about this bug on the release announcement of Jaunty at Kubuntu.org: “KPackageKit (which is now the default package manager for Kubuntu Jaunty) doesn’t support installations which require a removal or updates which require additional software. The packages to be removed/installed will be shown as blocked. Bug 342671“
So after all of this troubleshooting, I decided to go back to Adept and installed version 3.0beta4..To my big disappointment Adept reported broken packages (probably one of Kpackagekit’s crashes caused this)..In an effort to fix this I ended up switching to Synaptic 0.62.5..
Posting on forums regarding Ubuntu and Kubuntu for a year now, I had read about Synaptic more than often..After working with it for a day or two now, I must say that it seems much more capable and powerful for the user than the previous too..Maybe a bit more complicated but certainly more stable..
Overall, it is my opinion that Kpackagekit is a very worthy try that am sure will continue improving, but I don’t understand why Kubuntu and KDE rushed to make it the default package manager.. I can’t recommend using it as a main package manager on a system yet..
Finally, for those interested in something extra, here is an interview of the developers..