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OPIUM : optimal package install/ uninstall manager

  • Author(s): Tucker, Christopher James
  • et al.
Abstract

Linux distributions often include package management tools such as apt-get in Debian or yum in RedHat. Using information about package dependencies and conflicts, such tools can determine how to install a new package (and its dependencies on a system of already installed packages. Using off-the-shelf SAT solvers, pseudo-boolean solvers, and Integer Linear Programming solvers, we have developed a new package-management tool, called Opium, that improves on current tools in two ways: (1) Opium is complete, in that if there is a solution, Opium is guaranteed to find it, and (2) Opium can optimize a user-provided objective function, which could for example state that smaller packages should be preferred over larger ones. We performed a comparative study of our tool against Debian's apt-get on 600 traces of real-world package installations. We show that Opium runs fast enough to be usable, and that its completeness and optimality guarantees provide concrete benefits to end users

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