Pkgutil has now been officially released, see http://www.opencsw.org/packages/pkgutil.

Comparisons with pkg-get 3.9

Pro pkgutil

  • Pkgutil is a Perl script which should make it easier to maintain than pkg-get which is written as a Korn shell script
  • Pkgutil is GPL, pkg-get is not open source in the sense that Phil Brown controls it, it's free to use but not to modify
  • Pkgutil only compares the packages you have installed to the ones in the catalog. Pkg-get shows all packages, even not installed ones, which means that the output is extremely long
  • Pkgutil includes binaries of wget as a last resort for downloads. Pkg-get can sometimes remove wget and/or itself and break during upgrades
  • Pkgutil uses the information in the catalog to find all dependencies and present them before any downloads. Pkg-get has to download and extract packages to see their dependencies
  • Pkgutil shows total size of download before download/install/upgrade operations and individual package size when available packages are shown from the catalog. Pkg-get does not show download size even though that information is present in the catalog
  • Pkgutil doesn't show the license during install, that was just annoying
  • Pkgutil includes scripts to build your own catalogs from package files and to check the catalogs for errors. See bldcat and chkcat
  • Pkgutil can combine two catalogs from two locations so you can install your own packages, even with dependencies to CSW packages, with ease. For more info, see the above paragraph Temporary site
  • Pkgutil can build custom package streams complete with all dependencies for any architecture and OS release regardless of what pkgutil is running on
  • Pkgutil can exclude packages that you don't want included in updates for example
  • Pkgutil can do some operations without being root using the -W option to set a work directory you have read/write permissions in

Pro pkg-get

  • Pkg-get has been used since at least 2002
  • Pkg-get is a Korn shell script which is part of a minimal Solaris installation. Pkgutil needs Perl installed (but that seems to be included in even a core installation of Solaris 8)


  • Performance tuning
  • Unit testing

How to help

If you want to help making pkgutil better suggestions are welcome. They can come in the form of different wording of some text output or a complete patch with new functionality and everything in between. If your change is accepted you will be credited for it in the documentation.

Most of all we need more testing at this stage.


Peter Bonivart, gro.wscnepo|travinob#gro.wscnepo|travinob, bonivartbonivart

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