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A python based package manager that builds programs from source

Project description

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Pakit is a small python based package manager that builds programs from source.

Pakit provides:

  1. A package manager interface to install, remove & update programs.

  2. A simple Recipe specification to build programs from source code.

  3. Premade and tested recipes maintained by pakit.

When you install a program Pakit will…

  1. download the source into a silo in pakit.paths.source and build it.

  2. install the program into a silo under pakit.paths.prefix.

  3. link the silo to the directory.

Want a longer explanation? See the Overview section.


The following demonstration covers most of the basic functions.

Pakit Demo

Try the demo yourself after installing pakit.

Install Pakit

To use pakit:

  1. Ensure you have a build environment for compiling the programs.

  2. Fetch pakit via pip or github.

  3. Modify your $PATH.

Build Environment

At this point pakit has two limitations to be aware of:

  • Relies on user’s build environment.

  • Pakit recipes can only depend on things pakit can build, currently limited pool. User needs to install any dependencies pakit can’t build.

To use pakit, I suggest you have…

  • c++ build environment

  • git

  • mercurial

  • anything a recipe depends on that pakit can’t build

For Ubuntu install these packages:

sudo apt-get install build-essential automake autoconf python-pip git mercurial liblzma-dev libevent-dev ncurses-dev


Fetch the latest from the source. Works unless the build badge says failing.

git clone
export PATH=$(pwd)/pakit/bin:$PATH
python pakit/ deps release


Install the latest stable pip release. It might be old but working.

sudo -H pip install pakit


By default, pakit will install programs under pakit.paths.prefix and link everything to To use the built programs, must be on your $PATH. So for example, with the default value of, you would need to:

export PATH=/tmp/pakit/links/bin:$PATH

The above exports will only last for the terminal session. To make them permanent for bash, edit $HOME/.bashrc or $HOME/.bash_aliases.

More Information

>From inside the pakit source folder:

  • Help: pakit --help

  • Consult man: man pakit

  • Read pydocs: pydoc pakit or pydoc and so on…

  • Install all development packages: python deps

  • Run the test suite: tox

  • See Waffle for things I’m working on.

  • Read for details on design. A bit out of date.


  • Jeremy Pallats/ (that is me)


Basically I want to make a universal package manager on python. Runs everywhere, builds anything and handles dependencies. A bit like a meta build tool tying arbitrary recipes together. At the end of the day, will probably resemble Homebrew at least a little.

Importantly, the recipes should be configurable via a single YAML file that users can modify without changing the recipes. Say you want to pass particular flags to the vim or ag build, you’d just put them in an entry in the config.

Expected Feature Overview:

  • Python only, with minimal dependencies.

  • Package manager interface, install remove and update recipes.

  • 100% tested, framework & supported recipes.

  • Should work on any POSIX system, emphasis on Linux.

  • Simple recipe specification.

  • Configuration via a single YAML file.

  • Available via pip.

  • Traceability via logs for every command.

  • Premade & tested recipes available for use.

See for more details.


For accurate plan, see link above. Just a rough guess of what I should be implementing when.


  • [x] Implement basic tasks to install & remove ‘ag’ program.

  • [x] Support Git & Hg repositories.

  • [x] Simple config from .pakit.yml.

  • [x] Upgrade logic.

  • [x] User defined recipe locations via config.

  • [x] Pick a license.

  • [x] Pip/Wheel upload.


  • [x] Add archive support, supports download, hashing & extracting.

  • [x] Tar (tarfile)

  • [x] Zip (zipfile)

  • [x] tar.xz (xz command)

  • [x] Rar (rar command)

  • [x] 7z (7z command)

  • [x] Add list & searching support.

  • [x] Python 3 support

  • [x] Better error handling, rollback

  • [x] Improve Command, timeout & input file

  • [x] Investigate alternatives/improvements to RecipeDB


  • [ ] Make a website and promote. Maybe use github pages.

  • [x] Dependency logic between recipes tasks.

  • [x] Research best approach & do small design.

  • [x] Create Digraph Structure (likely required).

  • [x] Create Recipe specification & implement.

  • [ ] Handle missing commands inside recipes. For example, recipe needs git but git unavailable.

  • [x] Separate recipes from pakit core.

  • [ ] Move to pakit/pakit. pakit


  • [ ] Parallelism, envisioned as some task based dependency.


  • [ ] Create tool to convert homebrew ruby formula. Maybe?

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