[lfs-dev] Latest packages

Aleksey Rybalkin aleksey at rybalkin.org
Sat May 4 00:53:06 PDT 2013

On Fri, May 03, 2013 at 09:54:42PM -0500, Bruce Dubbs wrote:
> I'm going to write a program to automatically identify out of date 
> packages for LFS.  Has anyone already done such a beast?
> Has anyone else looked at this?

Hi. I wrote something like that not long ago. Here some ideas you
might find helpful:

1. Lots of packages use git tagging for new versions, so if you have
local git clone, you can periodically pull and check for new tags. I
use alias like that for sorting tags by date (works only for
annotated tags -- not every project uses them):

    sorted-tags = for-each-ref --sort='*authordate' --format='%(tag)' refs/tags
Without alias it can be used like that from the root of git cloned
git for-each-ref --sort='*authordate' --format='%(tag)' refs/tags

2. The most reliable way I found to compare verions is using coreutils
sort (newer versions have -V flag for sorting versions):

BIGGER=`echo -e "$1\n$2" | sort -V | head -n 1`

3. I also found checking package versions in testing branches of other
distributions quite handy. Arch Linux testing branch is particulary
easy to work with. I periodically pull from these two repositories:


Parsing versions from these repositories is trivial -- just sourcing
sh scripts and checking ${pkgver}. One caveat -- not everything is up
to date in Arch Linux testing (but mostly everything, they are quite
quick to update), so you need to use other sources too.

4. Some projects use special "announce" mailing lists to announce new
versions, like gnu-announce for example. These mailing lists can be
used manually alongside automated scripted version checking.

As for parsing file listings -- I thought about that, but think it is
less reliable and more clunky way than everything above combined.

The code for my version checker is in my git:
The code is not very well organized, but you can lookup
"prepare-check-updates", "check-updates" and "vercomp" strings.
I check git tags for linux and linux-stable versions (to check other
packages is in my TODO-list) and Arch Linux community/core repos.
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 490 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.linuxfromscratch.org/pipermail/lfs-dev/attachments/20130504/f427426c/attachment.sig>

More information about the lfs-dev mailing list