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PackageKit is a free and open-source suite of software applications designed to provide a consistent and high-level front end for a number of different package management systems PackageKit was created by Richard Hughes in 2007,23 and first introduced into an operating system as a default application in May 2008 with the release of Fedora 94

The suite is cross-platform, though it is primarily targeted at Linux distributions which follow the interoperability standards set out by the freedesktoporg group It uses the software libraries provided by the D-Bus and Polkit projects to handle inter-process communication and privilege negotiation respectively

Since 1995, package formats have been around, since 2000 there have been dependency solvers and auto-downloaders as a layer on top of them around, and since 2004 graphical front-ends PackageKit seeks to introduce automatic updates without having to authenticate as root, fast-user-switching, warnings translated into the correct locale, common upstream GNOME and KDE tools and one software over multiple Linux distributions5


  • 1 Software architecture
    • 11 Front-ends
    • 12 Back-ends
  • 2 See also
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links

Software architectureedit

PackageKit itself runs as a system-activated daemon, packagekitd, which abstracts out differences between the different systems A library called libpackagekit allows other programs to interact with PackageKit6

Features include:

  • installing local files, ServicePack media and packages from remote sources
  • authorization using Polkit
  • the use of existing packaging tools
  • multi-user system awareness – it will not allow shutdown in critical parts of the transaction
  • a system-activated daemon which exits when not in use


Graphical front-ends for PackageKit include:

pkcon operates from the command-line7


A number of different package management systems known as back-ends support different abstract methods and signals used by the front-end tools8 Back-ends supported include:

  • Advanced Packaging Tool APT
  • box
  • Conary
  • hawkey9 & librepo,10 the libraries upon which DNF, the successor to yum builds
  • Entropy
  • Opkg
  • Pacman
  • PiSi
  • poldek
  • Portage
  • razor
  • Smart Package Manager
  • urpmi
  • YUM
  • ZYpp

See alsoedit

  • Free software portal
  • AppStream
  • Listaller
  • PolicyKit
  • Red Carpet
  • Software Updater


  1. ^ Richard Hughes 20 May 2016 "PackageKit - Where can I download it" freedesktoporg Retrieved 20 May 2016 
  2. ^ "Installing and Updating Software Blows Goats" Richard Hughes Retrieved 18 January 2011 
  3. ^ "Richard Hughes' blog posts about PackageKit" Richard Hughes Retrieved 18 January 2011 
  4. ^ "Releases/9/FeatureList" Fedora Project Wiki Fedora Project 28 May 2008 Retrieved 7 July 2015 
  5. ^ "Introduction to PackageKit, a Package Abstraction Framework" PDF Richard Hughes 2008-02-24 Retrieved 2014-04-11 
  6. ^ "PackageKit Reference Manual" packagekitorg Retrieved 10 July 2009 
  7. ^ "HowTo use pkon" 
  8. ^ "Frequently asked questions" packagekitorg Retrieved 10 July 2009 
  9. ^ "hawkey on github" 
  10. ^ "librepo on github" 

External linksedit

  • Official website

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PackageKit Information about


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