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What is Optware?

Optware was originally developed as a distribution mechanism for software for the Unslung Linux project for the Linksys NSLU2 (a small low cost network storage device). That consumer storage device ran on Linux, and the community opened it up, but they needed a lightweight distribution mechanism for their lightweight devices.

Since 2004 Optware has been adopted by a variety of Linux communities and device developers including the webOS community working on the Palm Pre and Pixi, and developers for devices as diverse as Asus WL-500g,WL-HDD, WL-500gx, WL-500gP routers, the Synology DS-101, Plug Computers ([=PogoPlug=] V1, V2, Pro, Biz, Dockstars, etc.) and DS-101g+ NAS devices. In late 2010, the first Optware for Android was released by the Novaports team for the Barns and Noble Nook Color. See other platforms for a partial list.

At its core, Optware is a package manager to allow you to easly install and uninstall cross-compiled linux applications on your device over the internet. At this time, optware supports the automatic download and installation of over 1500 programs.

Despite the Optware package system being made available on many platforms, much of the documentation hasn't been updated so you may still see references to Unslung and the NSLU2 when the information also applies to other platforms. Don't panic.

Packages

See the Packages page for more information about the available packages and how packages work.

Optware platforms

Optware packages currently run on the following devices:

 or openWRT or dd-wrt firmware

And many more...

You can get more information about the hardware from each device at the Platforms page.

Manually setup Optware on a device

  • First make sure you have sufficient space on /opt, you can either symlink or "mount -o bind" so that /opt is big enough.
  • Setup (only require wget, awk, and tar), with cs08q1armel as example below
# feed=http://ipkg.nslu2-linux.org/feeds/optware/cs08q1armel/cross/unstable
# ipk_name=`wget -qO- $feed/Packages | awk '/^Filename: ipkg-opt/ {print $2}'`
# wget $feed/$ipk_name
# tar -xOvzf $ipk_name ./data.tar.gz | tar -C / -xzvf -
# mkdir -p /opt/etc/ipkg
# echo "src cross $feed" > /opt/etc/ipkg/feeds.conf
@]
  • Usage (with nano and less as example packages)
[@
# export PATH=/opt/bin:$PATH
# ipkg update
# ipkg install nano less
# ipkg list | less
  • Some devices also have native feed, some have kernel image/modules feed
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