is PacKommander ?
PacKommander is a simplistic
frontend to pacman,
the wonderful package manager of Arch
Linux. As the name might suggest, it is actually a simple Kommander
script. It is 'simplistic' in the sense that it is just a GUI frontend
which uses pacman at the back to get things done!
I think the actual (command line) pacman absolutely rocks, and there is
no need for a GUI frontend to it ! Having said that, there are many
people who'd disagree. They argure that pacman being a
tool, we should have an equally wonderful graphical frontend to it.
Also, GUI tools are always handy for newbies! Besides that,
actions concerning package management can be greatly facilitated and
made easier using a good GUI frontend.
The philosophy of Arch Linux says that there will be no GUI tools for
configuration, etc. in its bid to keep things simple ( and I personally
support that KISS principle!) . Hence, there will never be an
'Official' GUI frontend to pacman. That doesn't imply there can't be
unofficial ones, though. In fact, people have been contributing a
number of them. Most of them are great software, but they all have
their problems. Some (guzuta, gtkpacman) seem to be dead projects,
while others (Jacman) are too heavy on system resources.
I was looking for a GUI frontned to be included in my pet project March
which is a "distrolet" of Arch. I wanted it to be simple, fast and
light, yet functional. Since none of the existing ones fully catered to
my needs, I thought of creating my own! The easy-to-use app called
Kommander made the process quite simple for me.
- Quite light-weight and
- Can perform almost all
the tasks that
CLI pacman can do. This includes install /upgrade /remove /query /view details /search
packages both from server repositories as well as local packages in hard disk.
- Can be (in fact, must be)
normal user to perform non-admin tasks like search/query pacakges. Root
privilege is sought for automatically (using gksudo) as and when
required (e.g. to install/remove packages).
- Can handle multiple packages
at a time using a 'Package Queue' system. Essentially, a
list of queued packages is shown (packages can be added/removed from
queue), from where you can select and manipulate multiple packages.
- Certain tasks like
system, syncing database with server, clearing cache, optimizing pacman, etc can be done
by a click of a button.
- Hand-editing of certain
configuration files is also supported using nano editor in xterm.
- Every task is actually carried out by
pacman. The progress can be seen in the external xterm window and the
user has to interact with it limitedly (for confirmations, etc.)
- The UI is fully
configurable using Kommander-editor.
The current version of
PacKommander is 2.5
You can download the tar.bz2 file HERE
really to install it ! Once you have installed kommander, and extracted
the tar.bz2 file, just open a terminal in the location of extracted
files (as normal user) and type (without quotes) :
- Kommander is the main one. You can get the PKGBUILD for
Arch Linux from AUR HERE
. ( A pkg.tar.gz binary of kommander is there for download at
the sourceforge.net download page as 'additional package', but I can't
vouch for it!) Note that kommander itself requires kdelibs.
- gksu, xterm : Both of these can easily be replaced by
- nano : For editing of configuration files
- pacman : Obviously!!!
This will start the GUI.
Known bugs / Problems
- Pressing the ESC key
(even by mistake)
closes the app as it is, WITOUT A WARNING!! This is not a problem with
packommander itself, but the kmdr-executor! If anyone knows of a
solution , please inform me.
- For some
bizarre reason, the program might refuse to work properly when started
as ROOT. Better start it as normal user, since root permission will
be automatically sought for via gksudo/sudo as and when required.
- There are
certain problems with
the layout and the app may look bad with resolutions other than
1024x768 (NOT tested with other resolutions). Layout design is not very
easy with kommander, it seems.
I'v tried to rectify it and make it look as good as possible. It is
recommended that you MAXIMIZE the window after starting
Click on images for seeing
larger size :
Alternatively, you can visit
Picasa Web Album
For any suggestions
/comments /queries feel free to mail me (Sayan Chakrabarti) at
This is my first serious
attempt at developing anything, so I'd love to hear from you, esp. if
you find this software useful! :-)
Thanks to sourceforge.net
for hosting this project.