tl;dr Go to http://apt.cli.rs and follow the instructions to add the apt repo
I guess its only fair to start my new blogging kick by catching up on a project I'd worked on several months ago which is pretty much "done." I really like several Rust tools, such as
fd. I wanted an easy way to install them on Debian-based systems that may not have them in the official repos, so I needed to create my own apt repo. I was originally considering making a ppa, or private package archive, since I mainly use Ubuntu, but I decided I wanted these tools available on Debian as well, so my only option was an apt repo.
It turns out that apt repos are really simple, you just need to serve a directory with e.g. nginx. It took me a while to find a tool I liked using for making the apt repo, however. I started with trying
reprepro, but I found it was more annoying to use than I wanted, so I ended up using
aptly, a newer apt repo management tool.
When setting up the repo, my criteria for inclusion were:
- the tool must be able to build
*.debpackages. This is the package format for Debian/Ubuntu so definitely required
- the tool must build those packages. I wanted to use the official/same binaries as those in the Github release
- the binary packages must be statically musl-linked. Since various versions of Debian/Ubuntu use different versions of glibc, you can get version compatibility errors if you don't statically link. Statically linking to musl is much easier than glibc, so this seemed to be the best route to avoid compatibility errors.
With these criteria in hand, I then set up the apt repo with the CLI tools that fit and wrote a script to try updating all of the packages, pulling from the official Github releases. I have subscribed to releases on Github from all the repos that are currently included in the apt repo so all I have to do is run the script when a new release comes out from one of the repos. I may end up setting up a cronjob that runs this update script, but I'm weighing whether it is worth any potential risks...
Anyway, if you are interested in using this apt repo, head on over to https://apt.cli.rs, I've written up the commands you need to get started using the apt repo.
If you have suggestions for Rust CLI tools that should be included, please open an issue on the github! If a package doesn't build musl-linked Debian packages, consider opening an issue on that project to add it. However, please do not spam maintainers asking for these packages to be built. I unfortunately do not have time to contribute to the packaging of every great Rust CLI tool, but I can add them to the apt repo if they are packaged already!
Anyway, hopefully someone else finds it useful!