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Re: User-installable Debian packages?

On 25.07.17 12:04, Florian Weimer wrote:
> * Simon McVittie:
>> On Sat, 22 Jul 2017 at 12:28:04 +0200, Steffen Möller wrote:
>>> And quite some packages in our
>>> distribution do not really need to be installed as root if they were
>>> installed where the user has write permissions. There would hence be
>>> little overhead over what we have now. Should we not somehow find ways
>>> to tag any such location-agnostic packages and prepare dpkg for
>>> installing e.g. in $HOME/.debian when it is executed as non-root?
>> Rather than inventing a new wheel and having another Debian-specific
>> thing that can only be used on Debian (and not even on derivatives
>> without it being a "Frankendebian" system), might it be better to use
>> Debian's source, binaries or a mixture of the two as input to creating
>> something cross-distribution like Flatpak, AppImage or Snap? I would
>> personally recommend Flatpak.
> But it's not clear if the HPC community wants to run
> containers/namespaces at all.  Maybe Steffen can comment.
The HPC community does not want to need root privileges to get their
software installed/used on the HPC setup. This excludes regular
Debian packages, traditional containers like Docker and chroot environments.

If flatpak is an answer - great. But from what I get, there is no automated
transformation from .deb to it, so we would need to decide for packaging
in that different format instead of our regular effort. And then, to me,
presents itself much like a regular container, so I do not see an
advantage over
Singularity. But I have no practical experience with it, just correct me
if I am wrong.