Michael Stapelberg’s Debian Blog

pk4: a new tool to avail the Debian source package producing the specified package (2017-10-21)

UNIX distributions used to come with the system source code in /usr/src. This is a concept which fascinates me: if you want to change something in any part of your system, just make your change in the corresponding directory, recomile, reinstall, and you can immediately see your changes in action.

So, I decided I wanted to build a tool which can give you the impression of that, without the downsides of additional disk space usage and slower update times because of /usr/src maintenance.

The result of this effort is a tool called pk4 (mnemonic: get me the package for…) which I just uploaded to Debian.

What distinguishes this tool from an apt source call is the combination of a number of features:

If you don’t want to wait for the package to clear the NEW queue, you can get it from here in the meantime:

wget https://people.debian.org/~stapelberg/pk4/pk4_1_amd64.deb
sudo apt install ./pk4_1_amd64.deb

You can find the sources and issue tracker at https://github.com/Debian/pk4.

Here is a terminal screencast of the tool in action, availing the sources of i3, applying a patch, rebuilding the package and replacing the installed binary packages: