October 22, 2006

openSUSE package search

Writing about web page http://benjiweber.co.uk:8080/webpin

One of the problems many SUSE users have is locating software. Package management eases installation of software, but locating packages which are not in the official repositories may be problematic. SUSE’s main repository is fairly large with approximately 22,000 officially supported packages. However there are still many packages that SUSE cannot package for logistical or legal reasons. Most software can be found in one of many package repositories, but finding the repository containing the package containing what you are after may be a pain when you don’t know where to look.

This is why we constantly have questions like “Where do I find the w32codecs” or “what package provides libpng.so.3” on #suse on freenode. YaST’s software management module does have a perfectly good “provides” checkbox which will tell you this information but a) Most users don’t notice that it exists, and b) It will only work for repositories you have added as sources to YaST.

This in mind I have been working recently on a page to search packages and their contents across any repositories. I am currently indexing ~90 repositories for SUSE Linux 10.1, including the biggest few. I shall probably expand this to include all the rest of the repositories at some point.

Obligatory screenshot:

Package matches & the repository they come from are shown.

Clicking on a package name shows package summary/description & opportunity to view the entire package contents.

If you’re looking for a specific application, prepending bin/ to your search term may help find it. For example searching for bin/kopete will find you all the packages that provide kopete.

There are still several issues to work out, but suggestions are welcome.

- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Nils Becker

    This is an excellent idea. I was looking for exactly this kind of search facility several times already. Something like this should be on OpenSuSE, or at least linked from there, if there are legal concerns…

    Cheers, Nils

    15 Nov 2006, 15:04

  2. Nils Becker

    P.S. I did not get any results from Packman? Is there a list of all included repositories available?


    15 Nov 2006, 15:09

  3. The index is a little broken at the moment, I hope to have time to fix at the weekend.

    15 Nov 2006, 18:13

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