PkgBase Relaunched

  • March 29, 2009
  • Avatar for jacob

PkgBase has long been an unknown web site outside of FOSSwire; it was simply a quickly-linkable site that could be used to provide new users with instructions on how to install software packages.

And in reality, that’s all it should ever be. Today I’ve re-written PkgBase from the ground up. Instead of trying to guess the user’s operating system and spit out an error when something went wrong, the new site will now simply do nothing. That sounds like a bad thing, but now all of the information is on one page – no need for a different page for each distribution.

If PkgBase can guess the visitor’s distribution, then it will point them to the proper section of the page. If not, then the visitor can simply read from the top of the page and quickly find out what to do.

To use PkgBase, simply link to, followed by the package you want to install. For example, if I want to make a link to install Gobby, I can simply use Anyone who visits the link will be directed to the proper section of the page for their distribution; for me that link ends up being

Note the use of a slash at the end of a URL. If there is no slash present, then PkgBase will make a best guess at detecting the user’s distribution. If there is a slash at the end, PkgBase will assume you know what you are doing and will do nothing. This is to accommodate the use of page anchors at the end of URLs, so if you give someone a URL like, PkgBase will assume that you actually want to point to the Gentoo section and not try to guess itself.

There is a lot more that can be done with the site, and I’m still working on making it as easy as possible to install packages with no confusion. PackageKit would be a great option for this, though some client-side JavaScript will be needed to detect for the PackageKit plugin.

Feel free to use PkgBase anywhere you like. URLs are guaranteed to be permanent. I would love to hear your suggestions on how to improve the service.

Avatar for jacob Jacob Peddicord

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