Installing PowerShell modules via Portage

:: dotnet, gentoo, packaging, portage, powershell

By: Maciej Barć

Building PowerShell

As a part of my work of modernizing the way .NET SDK packages are distributed in Gentoo I delved into packaging a from-source build of PowerShell for Gentoo using the dotnet-pkg eclass.

Packaging pwsh was a little tricky but I got a lot of help from reading the Alpine Linux’s APKBUILD. I had to generate special C# code bindings with ResGen and repackage the PowerShell tarball. Other than this trick, restoring and building PowerShell was pretty straight forward with the NuGet package management support from the dotnet-pkg.eclass.

Alternatively if you do not want to build PowerShell you can install the binary package, I have in plans to keep that package around even after we get the non-binary app-shells/pwsh into the official Gentoo ebuild repository.

Why install modules via Portage?

But why stop on PowerShell when we can also package multiple PS modules?

Installing modules via Portage has many benefits:

  • better version control,
  • more control over global install,
  • no need to enable PS Gallery,
  • sandboxed builds,
  • using system .NET runtime.

Merging the modules

PowerShell’s method of finding modules is at follows: check paths from the PSModulePath environment variable for directories containing valid .psd1 files which define the PS modules.

By default pwsh tries to find modules in paths:

  • user’s modules directory — ~/.local/share/powershell/Modules
  • system modules directory in /usr/local/usr/local/share/powershell/Modules
  • Modules directory inside the pwsh home — for example /usr/share/pwsh-7.3/Modules

Because we do not want to touch either /usr/local nor pwsh home, we embed a special environment variable inside the pwsh launcher script to extend the path where pwsh looks for PS modules. The new module directory is located at /usr/share/GentooPowerShell/Modules.

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dotnet-pkg-utils_append_launchervar \
    'PSModulePath="${PSModulePath}:/usr/share/GentooPowerShell/Modules:"'

So every PowerShell module will install it’s files inside /usr/share/GentooPowerShell/Modules.

To follow PS module location convention we add to that path a segment for the real module name and a segment for module version. This also enables us to have proper multi-slotting because most of the time the modules will not block installing other versions.

Take a look at this example from the app-pwsh/posh-dotnet–1.2.3 ebuild:

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src_install() {
    insinto /usr/share/GentooPowerShell/Modules/${PN}/${PV}
    doins ${PN}.psd1 ${PN}.psm1

    einstalldocs
}

And that is it. Some packages do not even need to be compiled, they just need files placed into specific location. But when compilation of C# code is needed we have dotnet-pkg to help.

Binary packages in Gentoo

:: binary packages, gentoo, packaging, portage, system

By: Maciej Barć

Binpkgs generated by user

The binary packages generated by user can have architecture-specific optimizations because they are generated after they were compiled by the host Portage installation.

In addition binpkgs are generated from ebuilds so if there is a USE flag incompatibility on the consumer system then the binpkg will not be installed on the host and Portage will fall back to from-source compilation.

Those binary packages can use two formats: XPAK and GPKG.

XPAK had many issues and is getting superseded by the GPKG format. Beware of upcoming GPKG transition and if you must use XPAKs then you should explicitly enable it in your system’s Portage configuration.

To host a binary package distribution server see the Binary package guide on the Gentoo wiki.

Bin packages in a repository

Binary packages in ::gentoo (the official Gentoo repository) have the -bin suffix.

Those packages might have USE flags but generally they are very limited in case of customizations or code optimizations because they were compiled either by a Gentoo developer or by a given package upstream maintainer (or their CI/CD system).

Those packages land in ::gentoo mostly because it is too hard (or even impossible) to compile them natively by Portage. Most of the time those packages use very complicated build systems or do not play nice with network sandbox like (e.g. Scala-based projects) or use very large frameworks/libraries like (e.g. Electron).

They can also be added to the repository because they are very desirable either by normal users (e.g. www-client/firefox-bin) or for (from-source) package bootstrapping purposes (e.g. dev-java/openjdk-bin). Such packages are sometimes generated from the regular source packages inside ::gentoo and later repackaged.

Ebuild lit tests

:: gentoo, ebuild, tutorial, python

By: Maciej Barć

Patching

The file lit.site.cfg has to be inspected for any incorrect calls to executables. For example see src_prepare function form dev-lang/boogie.

Eclasses

Because we will need to specify how many threads should lit run we need to inherit multiprocessing to detect how many parallel jobs the portage config sets.

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inherit multiprocessing

Dependencies

Ensure that dev-python/lit is in BDEPEND, but also additional packages may be needed, for example dev-python/OutputCheck.

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BDEPEND="
    ${RDEPEND}
    test? (
        dev-python/lit
        dev-python/OutputCheck
    )
"

Bad tests

To deal with bad test you can simply remove the files causing the failures.

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local -a bad_tests=(
    civl/inductive-sequentialization/BroadcastConsensus.bpl
    civl/inductive-sequentialization/PingPong.bpl
    livevars/bla1.bpl
)
local bad_test
for bad_test in ${bad_tests[@]} ; do
    rm "${S}"/Test/${bad_test} || die
done

Test phase

--threads $(makeopts_jobs) specifies how many parallel tests to run.

--verbose option will show output of failed tests.

Last lit argument specifies where lit should look for lit.site.cfg and tests.

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src_test() {
    lit --threads $(makeopts_jobs) --verbose "${S}"/Test || die
}

Ebuild-mode

:: gentoo, portage, ebuild, emacs, tutorial, pkgcheck

By: Maciej Barć

Portage

Configure the following for Portage.

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dev-util/pkgcheck emacs

Emerge

Emerge the following packages:

  • app-emacs/company-ebuild
  • dev-util/pkgcheck

Company-Ebuild should pull in app-emacs/ebuild-mode, if that does not happen, then report a bug ;-D

Standard

Add the following to your user's Emacs initialization file. The initialization file is either ~/.emacs.d/init.el or ~/.config/emacs/init.el for newer versions of GNU Emacs.

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(require 'ebuild-mode)
(require 'company-ebuild)
(require 'flycheck)
(require 'flycheck-pkgcheck)

(add-hook 'ebuild-mode-hook 'company-ebuild-setup)
(add-hook 'ebuild-mode-hook 'flycheck-mode)
(add-hook 'ebuild-mode-hook 'flycheck-pkgcheck-setup)

Use-Package

We can also configure our environment using a use-package macro that simplifies the setup a little bit.

To use the below configuration the app-emacs/use-package package will have to be installed.

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(require 'use-package)

(use-package ebuild-mode
  :defer t
  :mode "\\.\\(ebuild\\|eclass\\)\\'"
  :hook
  ((ebuild-mode . company-ebuild-setup)
   (ebuild-mode . flycheck-mode)
   (ebuild-mode . flycheck-pkgcheck-setup)))

The :defer t and :mode "..." enable deferred loading which theoretically speeds up GNU Emacs initialization time at the cost of running the whole use-package block of ebuild-mode configuration when the :mode condition is met.

src_snapshot

:: ebuild, gentoo, portage, prototype

By: Maciej Barć

Prototype

Recently while browsing the Alpine git repo I noticed they have a function called snapshot, see: https://git.alpinelinux.org/aports/tree/testing/dart/APKBUILD#n45 I am not 100% sure about how that works but a wild guess is that the developers can run that function to fetch the sources and maybe later upload them to the Alpine repo or some sort of (cloud?) storage.

In Portage there exists a pkg_config function used to run miscellaneous configuration for packages. The only major difference between src_snapshot and that would of course be that users would never run snapshot.

Sandbox

Probably only the network sandbox would have to be lifted out… to fetch the sources of course.

But also a few (at least one?) special directories and variables would be useful.

Chromium

:: customization

By: Maciej Barć

Dark interface

Force web UI dark mode

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--enable-features=WebUIDarkMode --force-dark-mode

Hardware acceleration

Accelerated video decoding and GPU support

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--enable-accelerated-video-decode --enable-gpu

Reader mode

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--enable-reader-mode

Runtime cache

Use the cache directory /run/user/1000/chrome/cache

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--disk-cache-dir=${XDG_RUNTIME_DIR}/chrome/cache

Window size

Sawn a window of size 1200x900

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--window-size=1200,900

Full config

The file /etc/chromium/default is sourced by the Chromium launcher, that's why we can sue bash syntax here.

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#!/usr/bin/env bash

# Dark interface
# Force web UI dark mode
CHROMIUM_FLAGS="${CHROMIUM_FLAGS} --enable-features=WebUIDarkMode --force-dark-mode"

# Hardware acceleration
# Accelerated video decoding and GPU support
CHROMIUM_FLAGS="${CHROMIUM_FLAGS} --enable-accelerated-video-decode --enable-gpu"

# Reader mode
CHROMIUM_FLAGS="${CHROMIUM_FLAGS} --enable-reader-mode"

# Runtime cache
# Use the cache directory /run/user/1000/chrome/cache
CHROMIUM_FLAGS="${CHROMIUM_FLAGS} --disk-cache-dir=${XDG_RUNTIME_DIR}/chrome/cache"

# Window size
# Sawn a window of size 1200x900
CHROMIUM_FLAGS="${CHROMIUM_FLAGS} --window-size=1200,900"

Binary

If you use www-client/chromium-bin, then the config is located at /etc/chromium/default and CHROMIUM_FLAGS is CHROMIUM_BIN_FLAGS.