Install ubuntu packages in other distributions

pip install noapt==0.6.1



Is a small wrapper around plash, that lets you install ubuntu packages in your home folder. It does not acutaly need an ubuntu system and it can be used by non-privileged users.


pip3 install noapt --user


$ noapt                                                                                              
missing argument: programm name                                                                                                
$ noapt git                                                                                          
## searching package for: git                                                                                                  
## caching package: git                                                                                                        
<cut output>
Setting up git (1:2.15.1-1ubuntu2) ...                                                                                         
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.27-0ubuntu2) ...                                                                           
## executable: ~/bin/git                                                                                                       
## disk usage: 80M                                                                                                             
## to uninstall run: plash rm -I ~/bin/git && rm ~/bin/git                                                                     
$ ~/bin/git --version                                                                            
git version 2.15.1                                                                                                             

How does that work?

noapt itself is just ~50 lines intense but comparably robust shell scripting. The heavy lifting is done by plash, which is a container engine.

Use cases

  • Run non LTS packages in a LTS system
  • Use Ubuntu packages in another distribution
  • You don't have root access
  • You don't like to use root access very often
  • Install programs without cluttering your system
  • Dont't bother about package names, caching meta data and other subtelities of your package manager: just type noapt <program-name>
  • noapt ag is shorter than sudo apt install silversearcher-ag

Updating installed packages

No really nice solution yet: delete all build cache with plash purge and it will be rebuiled on demand.

The bad parts

  • On my system 1.3 seconds startup time is just too much. That is absolutely optimizable, it comes mainly from slow python imports.
  • I think fuse being slow is not too bad, the main work is expected to be done in /home, which is rbind mounted from container to host
  • unionfs-fuse does not work perfectly with this setup:
  • ~50 lines shell scripting
  • It's not magic: the package runs in an isolated container where /home and /tmp is mounted to the host. It will not work with anything overly complicated.