[Package Request] FreeCad

I would like to see FreeCad maintained on official repos again. It was removed from the Arch main repos due to an obsolete webkitgtk build and has been fixed for over 6 months. It just needs the legwork done to officially maintain it. It is a strong piece of software and is very taxing to build from source. With a growing community it is important to have tools like FreeCad alongside Blender, Cura, and other productivity and scientific software.

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It appears to have quite a few non-repo dependencies.

I think that would be be difficult to get in the repos.

I do see that, but I don't understand it much. Its not a problem for Debian, in fact if you build FreeCad off the Debian package you can fulfill the deps from the main repos. I haven't tried it myself though and I am just learning more about packaging.

Essentially, a repo package can't have dependencies in AUR so first you would have to package all the dependencies. Of course, those AUR dependencies may, themselves, have additional AUR dependencies which would also need to be packaged. Then you could package freecad itself.

So, basically you are asking for quite a lot of packaging. It is totally doable but someone would have to be interested in maintaining all those packages and keeping them up-to-date.

It may just be easier to install it from AUR.

I wish I had seen it when it was in the main repos. Coin and python-pivy are a new dependency or they were in the main repos as well. I am not even sure med is necessary, Debian pulls libhdf5-openmpi-103, which might be hdf5-openmpi in our repos... I'd have to dig a little more there.

Coin, python-pivy, and soqt have 30 AUR votes each, so I think this is pretty reasonable, though I know its a lot of work to get a package this big out of the AUR. I think that is all the AUR deps.

Just fyi. FreeCad is available as snap and flatpak, so there's in theory no need to build it yourself.

It is also available in the Arch China repo.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/unofficial_user_repositories#archlinuxcn

I personally would install it from the AUR 100 times before installing another package manager, not a fan.

1 Like

I use the AppImage. It is simple, fast and fully functional. Haven't used it for a while, so I don't know if it is updated or not, or if ti updates automatically.

EDIT: nope, not up to date.

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I don't use pamac but I think I read Manjaro v20 has introduced snap/flatpak support there, so no need for another manager.

I don't use pamac either and I don't think piggyback package managers should ever be a solution. I probably wouldn't use Arch anymore if somebody said "Well we have snap, flatpak, and AppImage now, we shouldn't have to bother butting any more software in our repos."

I don't see the point of a package request forum section if we aren't going to focus on pacman and the official repos. A lot of us users aren't going to use anything else and for very good reason. This is a package that I think needs some love again and Manjaro really puts an effort into their packaging and have done a good job delivering a stable and well rounded system with good software support for people using their pc for work. That, while delivering up to date software and ease of use is a massive selling point for this distro.

2 Likes

I agree with you, but having other packaging formats is extremely important. I used the AUR version of FreeCAD for a long time, and, just when I needed it the most, I couldn't build it. I've been using the AppImage since then. This is the only external package (besides other AUR packages) I have on my system.

I can see that as being a use case for AppImage, especially when you may neglect to update it. I have been working on fixing the builds on the aur rather than trying to use an alternative recently.

Believe me, I tried. In fact, if I recall correctly, the problem wasn't building but running. The AppImage ran perfectly, but the built version wouldn't launch.

I'm currently looking at the build instructions. I'll try to set it up later and then see if I'm able to maintain it.

EDIT: necessary packages missing from the repos:
coin
python-pivy
med
soqt

So maintaining FreeCAD would also require maintaining these packages.

The determination of if the packages are added to the repos or not is entirely based on if one of the package maintainers has a desire to pick up all these packages and maintain them on an ongoing basis.

The rest of this conversation is just other people offering advice to you for other options you might have. It doesn't really have any impact on if a maintainer will fulfill your request.

I know. I just hope to see good software more available, I know it is a large task for a maintainer.

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