Re: Software Install/Config via WWW

David Bianco (
Wed, 21 Sep 1994 07:23:38 -0400

Daniel W. Connolly writes:
> In message <>, David Bianco writes:
> >Daniel W. Connolly writes:
> >
> >If you like this, you may also be interested in (plug plug)
> >
> >
> >
> >"Cicero: A Package Installation System for an Integrated Computing
> >Environment"
> Yes... it is interesting.
> + it seems well-thought out. It includes digital signatures
> for packages

Thanks. I thought this was important since I'm always paranoid about
security. I wanted to be sure I could have Mosaic (my choice of browsers)
always configured for Cicero and not accidentally compromise my system...

> - if you're not part of the aforementioned "Integrated Computing
> Environment" you're somewhat out of luck. The system seems
> to depend on all machines using the same absolute paths for
> locating software packages.
> - You have to have root access to install a package.


If you're not part of the ICE, you may still be ok. While it's true that
some packages (like emacs) care about where their binaries go, not all do.
It's easy to configure Cicero to use a different path if you want to have
packages go in a different directory. There's no good way to do it on an
individual package basis with Mosaic though.

Other than a simple check in the scripts, there's really nothing to
prevent you from running Cicero under another uid. If you just want a
personal copy of a package (and it doesn't mind not being in
/usr/local) you can certainly use Cicero to install it. I should probably
add an option to supress the uid check...

> I posted a note on one of the linux newsgroups about this, but
> I guess I'll say it here:
> I'd like to be able to install a package:
> * on a per-user basis, in $HOME somewhere
> * on a per-group basis, in some group-writable directory
> * on a per-host basis, in /usr/local or some such
> (root priv. required)
> * on a per-site basis, in some nfs-exported directory
> or some such
> Further, I'd like to install a package on a per-user basis, test
> it out, and then upgrade it to a per-group/host/site installation
> without much hassle.

These are pretty good ideas. I will give some thought as to how Cicero
could be modified to add more support for different installation options.
I think we'll still be hosed if a package has compiled pathnames, though...


PS. Unless this discussion takes a 90 degree turn back into WWWland,
Please don't followup to the list. I gladly take questions (though maybe
the answer is "Cicero's not available yet" 8-)