using ports/packages to distribute software to a cluster

using ports/packages to distribute software to a cluster

Post by Soren Dayto » Fri, 20 Aug 1999 04:00:00


I'm interested in using the ports/packages mechanism to distribute
software to a cluster of machines including dialup machines.

I'm imagining a system by which one machine exports (by at least
anonymous ftp.  NFS is not acceptable because of dialup authentication
and performance issues) its /usr/ports (and /usr/ports/packages)
directory and machines pull over the packages (or some subset of the
packages) installed in /usr/ports/packages/Latest.

machines would probably compare the /usr/ports/packages/Latest contents
against /var/db/pkg contents and (basically) if
/usr/ports/packages/Latest/pkg is newer than /var/db/pkg/pkg, then
install it.  But if someone has implemented something, i'm not wedded to

Has anyone done this or has anyone thought about this?  If so, what are
your thoughts/code?

Soren Dayton


1. Using packages in a distributed environment?

I was wondering if anyone could give me some clues as to how they're
handling the distribution of packages in /opt in a distribute filesystem
environment.  It's not entirely clear to me what the best way to share
software that wants to go in /opt is...

Currently I'm installing packages in /opt on one of two machines with
a large /opt partition.  The rest of my SunOS 5.x machines mount these
partitions.  I go in and make links in their /opt partitions to the
newly installed software in the server partitions.

This is problematic for (at least) two reasons:
1. Maintaining the links is a pain in the butt.
2. Even though the software appears to live in /opt like a locally-installed
   package, the other package related files don't get updated
   (/var/sadm/pkg and stuff).  Thus, other software that looks at the
   package admin files to see if a package is available don't see the
   software that really is in /opt.

We'd like to be able to install software in the package format, but
drop it in /usr/local/opt or something, perhaps make /opt on the clients
a link to it, and have everything work (including patches).

Is it a problem that the package maintenance files aren't updated in this
scheme?  Is it a bad idea to have *none* of /opt local?  It seems like
many patches may not be installed properly if they try to write to the
central /opt (and perhaps to /usr or other places as well); any ideas
about this?

BTW, we use depot for distribution of all of our locally-installed software
currently.  Is anyone using depot with /opt software?

Can anyone from Sun tell us how Sun does this internally?

Many thanks,


multimedia computing group / georgia tech       404.894.6266
graphics, visualization, & usability center         atlanta, ga  30332-0280

2. Linux as a GW/Router

3. packages in software clusters

4. tcsh broke FTP?

5. Using FreeBSD to distribute software updates

6. RBAC how-to ?

7. Is there any cluster software for Solaris without using shared-storage-system?

8. ttymon using about 30m of swap space!

9. Software Repository OTHER than the ports/packages?

10. Install Software Package from Redhat 6 CD using RPM?

11. clusterpunch - distributed mini-benchmark for clusters project

12. Supporting > 65K users across distributed systems (clusters)

13. Cluster/Distributed Computing with rsh?