Packaging v2

Packaging v2 is a major improvement for the packaging introduced in YunoHost 11.1


The motivations for this new format is:

  • to get rid of some boring or unecessarily complex or duplicateds stuff such as saving/loading settings, creating a system user, etc.. during the install/upgrade/restore script, which are common things accross many apps.
  • to get rid of funky historical, not-super-semantic stuff such as __FINALPATH__ being replaced by $final_path (with underscore), or __PATH__ being replaced by $path_url, etc.
  • formalize some aspects such as the existence of the install dir, data dir, apt dependencies, database, etc. which in turn unlock possible future developments such as computing the space used by an app at one given moment, auto-upgrading apt dependencies during Debian major migration, etc.
  • formalize some meta-info such as LDAP/SSO support, architectures supports, and other pre-install / post-install, pre-upgrade / post-upgrade notifications (replacing the infamous ynh_send_readme_to_admin) for better UI/UX during the install and upgrade process.

However, this "v2" is not the end of the story and should be seen as an intermediate stage before a "v3" packaging. In particular this "v3" packaging should also formalize the handling of the system and app configurations files and ultimately rework the entire paradigm of the install/remove/upgrade/backup/restore scripts.

Adapting a v1 app to v2

A script is available in and will attempt to convert what it can from the v1 format to the v2 format, in particular:

  • initializing a manifest.toml and prefilling it with info scrapped from the various scripts
  • comment out now-unecessary lines in the various scripts

Usage: python3 /path/yo/your/app

This will edit the file in place and you should then carefully review and iterate over what the script did for you.

Highlights of the new format

The example repo illustrates the below.

  • The manifest is now written as toml (manifest.toml) instead of json (manifest.json). The structure of the manifest itself has been reworked and now include:
    • The upstream section (now mandatory)
    • An integration section meant to formalize what minimum YunoHost version is required, the list of supported architectures, declare if SSO/LDAP is supported, typical resource usage. This is meant to be displayed both in the catalog (similar to app stores) and on the app info page after installing the app - though this is still work in progress.
    • A resource section (detailed below)
  • Install questions are now automatically saved as settings (except user-provided password and other specific infos)
  • All settings are now automatically loaded in app script environments (so e.g. directly define $domain, etc.)
  • Auto-enable set -eu a.k.a. ynh_abort_if_errors in appropriate scripts
  • The safety-backup-before-upgrade is now automatically handled by the core
  • Simplify writing change-url scripts: old the new/old/change domain/path are now automatically available in the context and a new helper ynh_change_url_nginx_config takes care of tweaking the nginx conf. Your script should essentially just call that helper and possibly tweak the app's conf and possibly restart the app's service
  • Introduce a new resource mechanism
    • Resources are declared in the manifest.toml.
    • They are meant to formalize recurring app needs that are to be provisioned/deprovisioned by the core.
    • They include for example: system user, apt dependencies, install dir, data dir, port, permissions, SQL database...
    • Each resource is to be provisioned before running the install script, deprovisioned after the remove script, and automatically upgraded if needed before running the upgrade script (or provisionned if introduced in the new app version, or deprovisioned if removed w.r.t. the previous app version)
    • More infos about resources and their options and behavior are available in the dedicated doc page
  • Permissions are automatically initialized using the answer to the init_main_permission install question (replacing the is_public question). No need to write a boring if $is_public ... in the install script to add visitors anymore ! There is a similar mechanism to init other permissions, eg init_admin_permission (cf also the doc about the permission resource)
  • The content of the doc/ folder is now meant to be integrated in the webadmin (though this is still WIP as of writing this). In particular:
    • and the screenshots/ folder are expected to be displayed prior to the app install form (similar to app stores on mobile)
    • is expected to be made available somewhere in the info page and should contain technical admin notes. Other pages can be defined (just name it Lang codes are also supported following the existing scheme for the README, eg is the French version, hence you can create, etc.
    • Note that the page supports the __FOOBAR__ notation that will be automatically replaced with the app's foobar setting
  • Special files called 'notifications' are meant to replace the ynh_send_readme_to_admin mechanics. They are also to be added to the doc folder:
    • doc/ a note to be displayed prior to the app install. Typically to warn of something unusual, such as "the app install will automatically add 1GB swap to the system".
    • doc/ a note to be displayed after the app install. Typically to explain post-install operations to be performed manually by the admin and that cannot be automated.
    • doc/ a note to be displayed prior to any upgrade of this app.
    • doc/PRE_UPGRADE.d/{version}.md: a note to be displayed prior to a specific version upgrade.
    • doc/ a note to be displayed after the app upgrade. For example in the context of Nextcloud, the fact that you may need to re-enable custom modules manually?
    • Note that the notifications, like, supports the __FOOBAR__ notation that will be automatically replaced with the app's foobar setting
  • Replace some historical names with more sensible ones, or homogenize some practices:
    • final_path is now install_dir (this migration should be automatically handled by the core and the script)
    • datadir is now data_dir to be consistent with install_dir (this migration should be automatically handled by the core and the script)
    • path is now always loaded as $path, no funky $path_url-but-it-is-saved-as-path anymore (this migration should be automatically handled by the core and the script)
    • mysqldbpwd and psqlpwd or whatever are now always saved as db_pwd (cf the database resource) (this migration should be automatically handled by the core and the script)
    • ports settings are now always named either $port or $port_foo_bar instead of $foo_bar_port (cf the port resource) (this migration should be automatically handled by the core and the script)
    • the install dir is to be set to /var/www/$app by default for web apps (or can be changed to /opt/???? for non-webapps). Note that YunoHost will automatically move the old install dir to the new install_dir during the corresponding upgrade.

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