Single-Click Installs

I'm pleased to annouce that apturl support has been added to Linux App Finder. apturl is a program enabling single-click installs from within a browser. It is currently in the Ubuntu Gutsy repositories, but versions for Debian and Ubuntu Feisty are also available.

The current version of apturl only works with Firefox, but I expect that future versions will lift this restriction. Instructions are in the comments below describing how to enable apturl support in Opera and Konqueror.

How Does It Work?

apturl works by telling Firefox how-to handle URL's using the apt: format. When such a link is clicked it checks to see if the program is available through secured repositories. If it is, a dialog appears asking if you would like to install the app. If not, nothing happens. Hopefully a dialog will be added for this latter case to explain what happened.

What Does the "Install Now" Link Do?

Clicking the "Install Now" link will check your system's repositories for the application you are viewing and, if it is available, install it.

What are the Requirements to Use It?

The "Install Now" link will only appear on Linux App Finder when one of the deb repositories that we track has the application being viewed. In order for the link to work you need:

1. A GNU/Linux operating system using the Debian packaging system
2. apturl installed on your local system
3. Synaptic install on your local system
4. You must be viewing the page using the Firefox Web Browser

Examples of distributions using the Debian packaging system include: Debian, (K)Ubuntu, Mepis, Linspire, Linux Mint, and, Xandros.

apturl is the main program needed for the installs to work. Synaptic and Firefox are required because apturl can only function through them, although that may change in the future as support for other browsers is added.

Cool new stuff

As a Firefox and a Debian Sid user i find this really cool :-).
I have always a shell open to use apt in cli mode but for the most non-technical users this is a real benefit.
Hopefully this will later work with other open-source browsers too.

apturl support for Opera

apturl can be made to work with the Opera web browser by going to Tools -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Programs and clicking "Add". Enter "apt" in the protocol field and enter "apturl" in the "Open with other application" field.

Repeat one more time with apt+http as the protocol.

apturl support for Konqueror

To enable apturl to work with Konqueror you can start by creating two text files: apt.protocol and apt+http.protocol. Add the following text to the respective file.

exec=apturl "%u"

exec=apturl "%u"

Once these files are created simply copy them to either the ~/.kde/share/services or /usr/share/services folder. The former will enable support for only you while the latter will add support for any user.

Another "single click" software enabler: klik

While apturl is great (I use it too) to install software into the realm of the ($Debian-only!) package management system (which requires root privileges), here is another project that strifes to become the most easily used to make use of additional software in userspace (no need to have 'root'), and cross-platform (not limited to the Debian family of OSes, but _all_ Linux distros):

    --> klik

Here is a screencast of the current 'klik2' (codename) development effort.

Use software without "installation".

I agree, Klik is a good one.

I agree, Klik is a good one. I emailed probono from the Klik team recently to see if they can build an index I can use to link to their pages when they exist, but so far I don't know of a way to get the needed info short of pinging a lot of separate pages on their servers. And that doesn't seem like it would be a good solution for anyone.

klik2 -- a proposal for cooperation

Great, that you want to support klik :-)

I'm sure that we/probono can come up with a suitable automatism to get klik://... links into LinuxAppFinder pages, once the time is "ripe".

My personal opionion for now is _not_ to include them for all apps, but only the ones that are tested well enough and for the supported distros.

You know, 'klik1' was more a proof-of-concept thing. It worked excellently on Debian, and reasonably well on some other distros, given that 99% of klik1 recipes were auto-generated.

Now with 'klik2' under heavy development, we hope to be able to assemble a larger user community which will also give us a hand in testing and quality assurance, so we can eliminate bugs in the recipe auto-generation algorithm as well as possibly hand-tune more individual recipes if need be.

Have a look at our roadmap (warning: could be heavily changed still in the next 2 weeks). But once we pass 'Milestone 2' (or maybe 3?) we could enter 'klik://appname' links to each of the apps that are in the tables there (and maybe some more we know to be working), alongside a short description for the user how to get a local 'klik2' client working...

What do you think?

Use software without "installation".

That sounds doable. I can

That sounds doable. I can easily create a section for Klik just like the ones I have for deb and rpm repos right now. It would be great to align that with the Klik2 launch.

The only part that really takes much work is getting the names of the apps that have Klik versions into my database so the link is only shown when appropriate. What I do now is run a script every day that checks for new deb and rpm versions. With Klik I envision referencing a text (or HTML, XML, etc.) file that I can parse and cross reference versus the package names. As long as the Klik team provides a file with consitent formatting for me to grab the package names from then I can do the rest.

I think the klik team can

I think the klik team can come up with a way that works with LinuxAppFinder. Be it a simple text file that you fetch via http from the klik server and parse and process accordingly, or a more sophisticated, cusomized RSS (in the long run).

We can certainly align it with the klik2 launch, or even with the Milestone announcements (which we probably will also do after achieving Milestone2).

Use software without "installation".

Excellent. Let me know what

Excellent. Let me know what you have something for me to try out and I'll do it.