Chapter 27. Managing the Package Repository
Table of Contents
A source distribution of eCos consists of a number of packages, such as the kernel, the C library, and the µITRON subsystems. These are individually versioned in the tree structure of the source code, to support distribution on a per-package basis and to support third party packages whose versioning systems might be different. A command-line tool, ecosadmin.tcl is used is used to manage the installation and removal of packages from a variety of sources with potentially multiple versions. A graphical user interface is also provided to this tool through a dialog box from the eCos Configuration Tool as illustrated Figure 27.1, “ Package Administration ”.
The presence of the version information in the source tree structure might be a hindrance to the use of a separate source control system such as CVS or SourceSafe. To work in this way, you can rename all the version components to some common name (such as “current”) thus unifying the structure of source trees from distinct eCos releases.
The eCos build system will treat any such name as just another version of the package(s), and support building in exactly the same way. However, performing this rename invalidates any existing build trees that referred to the versioned source tree, so do the rename first, before any other work, and do a complete rebuild afterwards. If you do have an existing configuration you wish to move over to a new structure, you are advised to use the process described in Section 15.2, “Switching Targets, Repositories and Versions”.
27.1. Package Installation
Package installation and removal is performed using the
eCos command line tool
ecosadmin.tcl, also known as the
Tool, or through the eCos
Configuration Tool. The latter provides a GUI
interface to the former. This tool is a Tcl script which allows the user
to add new eCos packages and new versions of
existing packages to an eCos repository. Such
packages must be distributed as a single file in the
eCos package distribution format. By
convention, eCos package distribution files
are given the
.epk suffix. Unwanted packages may
also be removed from the repository using this tool.
27.1.1. Using the Package Administration Tool
The graphical interface accesses all the functionality of the command-line tool and may be accessed from the menu option Figure 27.1, “ Package Administration ” is displayed.→ . You will first be prompted to save your existing configuration before the dialog in
Figure 27.1. Package Administration
The dialog displays the packages which are currently installed in the form of a tree. The installed versions of each package may be examined by expanding the tree.
Packages within a package distribution file (traditionally with a
.epk suffix) may be added to the
eCos repository, or if using multiple
repositories the top-most repository, by clicking on the
Add button. You will be prompted to provide the
location and filename of the package distribution file via a
File Open dialog box.
Packages may be removed by selecting a package in the tree and then clicking on the Remove button. If a package node is selected, all versions of the selected package will be removed. If a package version node is selected, only the selected version of the package will be removed.
27.1.2. Using the command line
The ecosadmin.tcl script is located in the base of the eCos repository. Use a command of the following form:
$ tclsh ecosadmin.tcl <command>
The following commands are available:
- add <file>
Adds the packages contained with the specified package distribution file to the eCos repository and updates the package database accordingly.
- remove <package> [ --version=<version> ]
Removes the specified package from the eCos repository and updates the package database accordingly. Where the optional version qualifier is used, only the specified version of the package is removed.
Produces a list of the packages which are currently installed and their versions. The available templates and hardware targets are also listed.
- merge <package directory>
Merges all the packages within <package directory> into the current repository (defined by the environment variable
Note that is is possible to remove critical packages such as the common HAL package using this tool. Users should take care to avoid such errors since core eCos packages may only be re-installed in the context of a complete re-installation of eCos.
27.2. Package Structure
The files in an installed eCos source tree are organized in a natural tree structure, grouping together files which work together into Packages. For example, the kernel files are all together in:
and µITRON compatibility layer files are in:
The feature of these names which is of interest here is the
<version> near the end. It may seem odd to
place a version number deep in the path, rather than having something
The rationale for this organization is historic as in practice
developers maintain their source code under revision control systems
such as Mercurial, GIT or SourceSafe using the version directory
current in place of
is favored by most developers.
27.2.1. Integration with Revision Control Systems
Many developers have their own source code control system, version control system or equivalent, and will want to use it with eCos and eCosPro sources. Since new releases of eCos and eCosPro come with different pathnames for all the source files, a little work is necessary to import a new release into your source repository.
For example, eCosCentric maintains
Mercurial, a distributed source revision
control system, using a number of source repositories with all package
current directories to
<version> of all templates.
An eCosPro release may therefore be
returned into a source revision control system by renaming all
packages back to
current and committing
the resulting directory structure into the repository.
“current” is recommended because ecosconfig recognizes it and places it first in any list of versions.
For example, within a POSIX shell environment such as bash (normally available under Linux and provided with the eCosPro host tools for Windows hosts) use the following command:
find . -name
<version>-type d -printf 'mv %p %h/current\n' | bash
Having carried out such a renaming operation, your source tree will now look like this:
which is a suitable format for import into your own source code control system. When you get a subsequent release of eCosPro, do the same thing and use your own source code control system to manage the new source base, by importing the new version from
and so on.
The eCos build tool will now offer only the “current” version of each package; select this for the packages you wish to use.
Alternatively you may choose to create two versions of each package
current containing the
<version>. For example:
$ECOS_REPOSITORYfind . -name
<version>-type d -printf 'cp -r %p %h/current\n' | bash
Having carried out such a copy operation, your source tree will now look like this:
In simple terms, while you initially may have two identical
version directories, when you overlay a new version on top of an
existing directory tree, the older files within
current will be replaced by the newer
will switch to a newer version.
The above simple method, however, is strongly discouraged. Care
must be taken when merging two
from different release repositories. For example, the file
ecos.db is not versioned and is common to both
packages directories. Changes to made to
this file will be lost. In addition, the target definition within
ecos.db for a newer release may contain additional
packages, such a new device driver which was not present in the older
ecos.db. Developers are therefore
advised to use the merge command of the
ecosadmin.tcl tool which will merge the two versions
ecos.db in addition to overlaying new
current. This may, however, be made an option in a
newer release of the ecosadmin.tcl tool and
currently can be overcome through the following commands:
NEW_REPOSITORYfind . -name
<version>-type d -printf 'cp -rf %p/.
$ECOS_REPOSITORY/%h/current\n' | bash
For the example given, the updated target definition
in the merged repository will require use of the new device driver
not present in the older release as a result of the updated target
Making such a change has implications for any build trees you already have in use. A configured build tree contains information about the selected packages and their selected versions. Changing the name of the “versioning” folder in the source tree invalidates this information, and in consequence it also invalidates any local configuration options you have set up in this build tree. So if you want to change the version information in the source tree, do it first, before investing any serious time in configuring and building your system. When you create a new build tree to deal with the new source layout, it will contain default settings for all the configuration options, just like the old build tree did before you configured it. You will need to redo that configuration work in the new tree.
Moving source code around also invalidates debugging information in any programs or libraries built from the old tree; these will need to be rebuilt.
|2022-01-07||Open Publication License|