OpenCSW is where the goodness is

Executive summary: OpenCSW rocks. (and the like) is the mirror setting you want. (See the README files for more mirrors.)

Solaris 10, as installed from a DVD, has a very small number of software packages. It has packages that are relevant to the OS itself, but it does not have packages with things such as Apache or PostgreSQL vim, or subversion client, or GNU utilities (awk, grep, etc). These ones you need to either compile yourself or use a precompiled binary package. A project called blastwave used to provide those for quite a number of years. However, sometime in August 2008, “things happened”. What those things are, I’ve decided I don’t want to know. The current state of affairs is that there are 2 (two) projects now, one is called “blastwave” and one is “opencsw”. I did a bit of research on the web to find out about their source repositories and binary package statuses.

One thing that struck me pretty strong is that none of those projects advertises its code repository. With open source projects, the code repository is usually the first thing published. “We have a new project! Here’s our code:!” That’s what the phrase “open source” means, according to a common sense understanding. If you’re interested in the project, you can download the source, tinker with it and if you come up with something useful, you offer your change in a form of a patch. Without the source code, you can’t do that. So, where’s the source?

Finding the source code of OpenCSW was a bit harder than the source code of Blastwave. Here it is:

To check out the source (takes a long time to complete):

svn co --ignore-externals opencsw

The code repository, looking at the statistics page, looks pretty active. There’s also a wiki page with instructions.

If you want to update a package or change something in a package from CSW, or you’re wondering how does package building work there, check out this source, then change into a directory with a package, like cups/trunk and type ‘gmake’. It works in a similar fashion to BSD ports.

I didn’t do full exhaustive stats, but it seems that packages in OpenCSW are generally much more recent than the ones from Blastwave. So, check your pkg-get.conf (yes, it’s a newer version of or pkgutil.conf if you use this alternative to pkg-get) and replace the old blastwave mirror with OpenCSW one, and see the goodness flowing in.

(updated on 2009-03-11 according to Phil’s comments)