Perkify - Pete's Alley

Written by Rich Morin.

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Path:  AreasContentOverviews

Precis:  how Perkify works with Pete's Alley

The Catalog area in Pete’s Alley has a Software section containing item pages for assorted applications, software packages, etc. As is generally the case for our pages, the source file(s) for an item page can be inspected by clicking on the “Source” link in the page footer. Feel free to try it out on this page; I’ll wait…

Most item pages have only a single file (e.g., main.toml). This contains information used to search for and display the page. However, if an item page describes an open source software offering which we’re considering for inclusion in Perkian or Perkify, an additional file (make.toml) will be used. This file contains additional information we can display. More to the point, we can harvest it to create software distributions.


Perkify is based on an Ubuntu distribution, so its build process uses Debian’s Advanced Package Toolkit (APT) to install most packages. However, it isn’t that much trouble (and actually quite handy) to keep track of the corresponding information for Arch (and hence, F123Light). Once all of that information is in place, a script can scan each item’s make.toml file and create something like the current add_ons.toml file. Alternatively, it can create something equivalent for use in the Perkian effort. What’s not to like?


The make.toml file contains all of the information needed to install packages using the Arch or Debian tooling. It may also contain notes on porting issues, etc. Here is a fairly typical example, taken from the item page for Fizmo:

# cat_sof|Fizmo/make.toml

[ meta ]

[ os.arch ]

  package     = 'arch_aur|fizmo'
  upstream    = ''

[ os.debian ]

  package     = 'debi_pkgs|buster/fizmo'

[ os.perkify_ubuntu ]

  add_apt     = 'fizmo-console, fizmo-ncursesw, fizmo-sdl2'

To be continued…