pkg-config / pkgconf BoF

Speaker: Andrej Shadura


Track: Packaging, policy, and Debian infrastructure

Type: BoF (45 minutes)

Room: Ereniku

Time: Jul 22 (Fri): 17:00

Duration: 0:45

This BoF is to discuss the state of pkg-config and pkgconf in Debian, and the proposal to switch from pkg-config to pkgconf: its benefits and downsides, approaches etc.

pkgconf is a newer, actively maintained implementation of pkg-config that supports more aspects of the pkg-config file specification and provides a library interface that applications can use to incorporate intelligent handling of pkg-config files into themselves (such as build file generators, IDEs, and compilers). Through its pkg-config compatibility interface (activated when it is run as “pkg-config”), it also can completely replace the original implementation.

Debian would benefit from switching to pkgconf by utilising a more complete implementation of pkg-config that handles aspects of .pc files that pkg-config does not. For example, Provides rules and Cflags.private rules are supported, and pkgconf has a better (and less costly) dependency resolver for .pc files.

pkgconf doesn’t depend on glib, making it easier to bootstrap new architectures, since there won’t be a cyclic dependency to break (pkg-config → glib → pkg-config).