ipkg vs. opkg

Lorn Potter lpotter at trolltech.com
Thu Jul 31 04:59:59 CEST 2008

Werner Almesberger wrote:
> There's been a brief but heated discussion on one of our internal
> lists on the change from .ipk to .opk. Let me join the flame fest
> by 1) dragging this into this more public space, and 2) professing
> my ignorance:
> In the discussion it was explained that the file formats .deb,
> .ipk, and .opk are identical, and that this was just what seems to
> be a very misguided attempt at name branding. (I only now realize
> that the "o" in "opkg" was supposed to come from "Openmoko", not
> "other".)
> However, I wonder if there are any other differences beyond the
> mere format. E.g., could systems that use dpkg, ipkg, or opkg
> actually install .deb, .ipk, or .opk packages (provided that
> they're built for the respective architecture), or are there
> other differences beyond just the package format that would cause
> this to fail or to cause other problems (such as putting invalid
> metadata into the local package database) ?
> If .opk is identical to .ipk for all practical purposes, then I
> don't think this is a good change and it may not be too late to
> revert it. If we look at, say, RPM-based systems, they all use
> .rpm and don't try to create arbitrary divisions by using
> distribution-specific names.
> I also don't know what is actually the difference between opkg
> and ipkg. I just thought it's somehow "better" without affecting
> the core functionality. Could anyone please explain ? I think I
> may not be the only one confused :-)

"IPKG" is a trademarked name, and you will have to license it for use from George France. (sorta 
like the Firefox/Ice Weasel issue, but different)
There is a lot of contention between community members and George France/handhelds.org, one of them 
being this issue.

Lorn 'ljp' Potter
Software Engineer, Systems Group, Trolltech, a Nokia company

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