What package managers exist which can handle compiling and installation development version (git head) into a configurable installation prefix?

I.e. by typing a command, I want to be able to:

  • update to the last development version of the software I am installing (using http direct download, Git, Mercurial or any other SCM)
  • launch the compilation with the "right options" passed to configure or CMake
  • install the software in a specific installation prefix
  • update the environment variables in an appropriate way (i.e. modify PATH or LD_LIBRARY_PATH, etc.)

Basically, it boils down to a distribution independent tool that would behave like emerge from Gentoo or pacman/yaourt from Arch on a particular subset of software (installed in a separate, customizable, installation prefix).

So far I am aware of:

Is there any other tools like these ones out there?

  • 1
    Since you mention "like emerge", are you aware of gentoo prefix?
    – phemmer
    Apr 26 '14 at 5:41
  • @Patrick, please consider changing your comment as an answer! Apr 27 '14 at 8:34

As requested. Since you mention you want something to behave like the emerge utility from Gentoo, you could use Gentoo prefix for this.

Gentoo prefix is a kind of sandboxed Gentoo running inside another OS. You even get the actual emerge command. Prefix installs to a specific directory (such as /home/john/gentoo), and you run the binaries out of the installation path (such as /home/john/gentoo/usr/bin/vim).

Prefix maintains it's own complete environment, full of all the libs needed. This is because of dependency tracking. For example, if you install vim, prefix needs to know that all the libs needed by vim are present. It might indeed be possible for vim to use the libs from the host OS, but as they're maintained by a separate package manager, prefix isn't aware of them.


Take a look at EasyBuild. It's targeted at the HPC world but may meet your needs.

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