The Application Manager can be 'scripted' in a very limited way. This ability is used to implement the "Single Click" install feature as used on the maemo Application Catalogue and when installing applications from a memory card.
The Application Manager offers some pre-defined 'interaction flows' that can be controlled with a ".install" file. Such a .install file is a text file following the GKeyfile format, as defined by glib. List elements are separated by a semicolon.
The following interaction flows are available:
The .install file can contain a list of catalogues that will be added to the catalogues that are used by the Application Manager.
Installing a package from the network catalogues
The .install file can specify one package to be installed from the catalogues. The .install file can also list the catalogues that are needed for this package to be installed successfully and they will be added first, similar to the "Adding catalogues" scenario.
Installing packages from a memory card
The .install file can be stored on a memory card and it can list the packages that are installable from the memory card. It can also list a number of catalogues that are added after the installation has been completed. This might be useful to provide updates later via these catalogues.
A GKeyFile consists of a number of groups, and each group contains key/value pairs. Each interaction flow has its own group; for example the "Installing a package" interaction flow uses the group with the name "install" as the main 'entry point'. Other groups are used to provide additional information, mostly about catalogues. When none of the supported entry points is found in the file, it is declared incompatible with the current IT OS release.
For example, the following file will offer to install the
package from the Foobar catalogue:
[install] catalogues = foobar package = maemofoo [foobar] name = Foobar Catalogue name[en_GB] = Foobar Catalogue name[de_DE] = Foobar Katalog uri = http://foobar.com/repository components = main
As explained below, omitting the "dist" key means that the 'current' distribution will be used.
All of the interaction flows deal with catalogues. They do that by referring to groups in the .install file by name, such as "foobar" in the example above. Those names can be arbitrary but must be unique of course.
A group describing a catalogue can contain the following keys:
This key gives the display name of the catalogue as shown to the user in the "Tool > Application catalogues" dialog. This key can be localised by following the GKeyFile conventions. If you omit this key, the catalogue will have an empty name.
The URI part of the
deb line that will be added to
for this catalogue. This key is required for all catalogues except
those used with the "card_catalogues" key.
file_uri instead of
uri, the URI part of the
line will use the "file://" method and the
file_uri gives the
actual pathname, relative to the location of the .install file. This
key is required for all catalogues that are used with the
The distribution of the
deb line that will be added to
sources.list for this catalogue. If you omit it, it will default
to the distribution corresponding to the IT OS release on the device.
The fact that the distribution should be selected automatically is remembered by the Application Manager. For example, if you make a backup that contains a catalogue with automatic distribution selection and restore it on a different IT OS release, the distribution for the new version will be used automatically.
The components part of the
deb line that will be added to
sources.list for this catalogue. If you omit it, the components
part will be empty.
This catalogue will be ignored when the distribution corresponding to the IT OS release on the device doesn't match.
When catalogues are compared, they are considered equal when their
components fields are equal.
This interaction flow is controlled by the "catalogues" group. This group has one mandatory key, "catalogues", and no optional ones. The "catalogues" key is a list of strings that refer to the catalogue groups that describe the catalogues to be added.
Catalogues are filtered according to their
filter_* keys. When all
of the listed catalogues are filtered out, the .install file is
declared to be incompatible with the current IT OS release.
Each catalogue is considered in turn and the user is asked whether to add it or not. When it should be added and a catalogue is already configured in the Application Manager that is equal to the one considered, the configured catalogue is removed first. When the user declines the adding, the next catalogue is considered.
After considering every catalogue, the user is asked whether to "Refresh the list of applications".
[catalogues] catalogues = extras; sdk [extras] name = maemo Extras catalogue uri = http://repository.maemo.org/extras components = free non-free [sdk] name = maemo SDK catalogue uri = http://repository.maemo.org/ components = free non-free
This interaction flow is controlled by the "install" group. This group has one mandatory key, "package", and a optional one, "catalogues".
The "package" key gives the name of the package to install.
The "catalogues" key, when present, is just like the "catalogues" key for the "Adding catalogues" case. The catalogues are handled a bit differently, tho:
Each catalogue is considered in turn and when there isn't already a catalogue configured that is equal to it, the user is informed that it needs to be added and is asked for confirmation. Alternatively, when a catalogue is already present but disabled, the user is informed that it needs to be enabled and is asked for confirmation. When the user confirms, the catalogue is added and processing continues. When s/he declines, processing of the .install file stops and the changes to the configured catalogues that have been made for it are reverted.
After the catalogues have been handled, the a "Refresh list of applications" operation is performed without asking. Processing continues regardless of whether it fails or not.
Then, the given package is offered to the user for installing, as if s/he had requested this from the "Browse installable applications" view.
This interaction flow is controlled by the "card_install" group. It has two mandatory keys, "packages" and "card_catalogues", and a optional one, "permanent_catalogues".
The "packages" key lists the names of packages that can be installed from the memory card, using the "card_catalogues".
Installation of the packages happens in a temporary environment: in this environment, the normally configured catalogues are not available, only the catalogues listed by the "cardcatalogues" key are configured. All of these catalogues must use "fileuri" instead of "uri".
The packages are installed in this temporary environment. The user gets to select them from a list. Only packages that are not already installed or are not uptodate are offered. When the offered list would be empty, processing stops with an appropriate note.
Each selected package is installed in turn, one after the other. If one of the installations fails, an error message is displayed and processing stops.
When all selected packages have been installed successfully, the "permanent_catalogues" will be offered to the user for addition as with the "Adding catalogues" case.
Whenever a memory card is inserted that contains a file called
.auto.install, that file is processed by the Application Manager.
.auto.install file contains a
card\_install group, of
The basic idea is that you make a memory card that contains a repository that is understood by Apt and provide a suitable .install file for it next to it.
A simple way to make a apt-gettable repository is to just create a
directory, copy all
.deb files into that you want to include in the
repository, and then run
apt-ftparchive in a suitable way.
$ mkdir .repo $ cp somewhere/*.deb .repo/ $ (cd .repo && apt-ftparchive packages . >Packages)
.install file could look like this:
[card_install] card_catalogues = repo packages = app-1; app-2 [repo] file_uri = .repo dist = ./
You need to put this
.install file and the
.repo directory next to
each other so that the
file\_uri path is correct. Usually you would
put both in the root folder of a memory card. The
should get a nice descriptive display name so that the user can find
it easily in the File Manager.
To make the memory card auto-installing, copy the
.install file so
that it is also available with the
.auto.install name in the root of
the memory card.
You can also sign repositories on a memory card, and the Application Manager will use such a signature like any other, e.g., when deciding whether to allow system package upgrades or whether to show certain disclaimers.
In addition to the format described above, the Hildon Application Manager also understands the old .install files from IT OS 2007.
A file like this:
[install] repo_name = NAME repo_deb = DEB repo_deb_3 = DEB_3 package = PACKAGE
is interpreted as if it were
[install] catalogues = repo; repo_3 package = PACKAGE [repo] filter_dist = mistral name = NAME uri = URI dist = DIST components = COMPONENTS [repo_3] filter_dist = bora name = NAME uri = URI_3 dist = DIST_3 components = COMPONENTS_3
where URI, DIST, and COMPONENTS are parsed out of DEB, as appropriate.
If the "package" key is omitted in the "install" group, it is treated as a "catalogues" group.