Package Manager

Wikis > Package Manager

The Arca Noae Package Manager is a graphical interface to installing, removing, and updating software on your OS/2-based system. It is released under GPLv3, and is freely available to everyone.

This wiki page provides some tips and tricks for getting the most out of this utility. Also note our best practices sub-wiki.


The table below shows the currently available repositories of OS/2 software known to us:

Arca NoaeStablearcanoae-relNo$releasever/stable (non-beta) packages
ArcaOSarcanoae-arcaosYes$releasever/stable packages; ArcaOS support & maintenance
subscription content
Subscriptionarcanoae-subYes$releasever/stable packages; software & driver
subscription content
NetlabsStablenetlabs-relNo$releasever/$basearch/stable (non-beta) packages
Rosenthal & RosenthalStable (mirror)No$releasever/$basearch/East Coast US mirror


Arca Noae Package Manager may make changes to CONFIG.SYS when the path validation check is enabled (this is the default behavior). It is always good practice to maintain a recent backup of CONFIG.SYS (and other important system configuration files).


  • OS/2 Warp 4 FixPak 13 or higher, eCS 1.x, 2.x, ArcaOS 5.x
  • 32-bit TCP/IP stack.
  • 200MB available space on local volume supporting long filenames and extended attributes to be designated as %UNIXROOT%.
  • WarpIN 1.0.19 or higher, available here.
  • kLIBC Pathrewriters, 1.0.2 or later, available here. Note that eCS version 2.x should already have the kLIBC Pathrewriters package installed. Look in your System Setup folder for the kLIBC Pathrewriters configuration object. If present, then this package is already installed. (ArcaOS 5.0 and above includes the updated and enhanced kLIBC Path Remapper which takes the place of the older kLIBC Pathrewriters.)

IMPORTANT: Systems with existing RPM & YUM which have not been updated recently (including fresh eCS installations)

Please review this page before running a YUM | Update all… operation for the first time or if you have an empty package list when Arca Noae Package Manager starts.

Initial setup of RPM & YUM

For systems with existing Python installations, please see this page.

On systems with no existing RPM & YUM installation, Arca Noae Package Manager should prompt to download and install the base package (bootstrap) upon first program start. Once downloaded, you will be asked to select the drive to be designated as UNIXROOT, and the requisite directories and files will be placed under the root of that volume.

Upon completion of the extraction of the bootstrap, CONFIG.SYS will be updated to reflect the necessary changes (a backup copy of CONFIG.SYS will be saved as CONFIG.YUM), and you will be prompted to reboot to have these new settings take effect.

Exit Arca Noae Package Manager, close any other running programs, and reboot. Upon returning to the desktop following the reboot, you should run Arca Noae Package Manager to perform the tasks in the next section before adding any new packages or using any of the newly installed applications.

Post-bootstrap tasks

Reinstall bootstrapped packages

Following the initial reboot, we highly recommend performing the following tasks to get the most out of the new environment. The reinstall of all bootstrapped packages is necessary in order for any scripts which would normally be run during during RPM installation to perform their system configuration changes. We are looking at ways to handle these during bootstrap install in future releases of Arca Noae Package Manager, however, until then:

  1. Start Arca Noae Package Manager, and from the list of installed packages, Ctrl-/ to select all packages.
  2. From the menu, select Selected | Reinstall. You will be prompted to confirm the downloading of the packages (this should typically be under 50MB.
  3. Click OK to proceed. You will be prompted to reboot during the procedure. Do so.
  4. Upon returning to the desktop following the reboot, start Arca Noae Package Manager. The installation should continue automatically.

    Note: It is normal to see new desktop objects appear and for folders to be opened, as well as to see command windows opened for varying lengths of time during this process. These are the actions of the scripts being called during the reinstallation process.

  5. Once the reinstall procedure is complete, reclaim disk space by selecting YUM Tools | Cleanup | Downloaded packages. Alternatively, you may keep these RPM in your local store,though they should not be necessary under normal circumstances.
  6. Exit Arca Noae Package Manager, optionally review changes to CONFIG.SYS and clean up any extraneous objects or shadows on the desktop, and reboot.

Update all packages

Next, update all installed packages to the latest available. This is generally good practice, as packages are updated regularly. For more details on the proper procedure for updating all packages see the best practices sub-wiki.

Install documentation readers

While not always part of the bootstrap (the purpose of which is to provide a working environment, capable of installing new packages), readers such as info and man are necessary to get the most out of included package documentation.

From the Available package list, set the group filter dropdown in the upper right of the toolbar to System Environment. Look for and select (if available) info and man-db. (One or both of thee may have already been installed with the bootstrap; if not shown in the available packages list, this may be the case.) Install these.

Known issues/limitations

The following issues with Arca Noae Package Manager are known to exist at this time:

  • In certain instances, upon installing the bootstrap package (usually, during the initial Arca Noae Package Manager setup), it will be necessary to add some packages to enable existing installed applications to continue to function. A known example of this is the libicu-legacy package which is required for Apache OpenOffice (see related information on path validation, below). Watch for a dedicated wiki page for this.
  • Filtering the available package list by repository may fail to display the latest version of a package if a newer version is available from another repository. Example:

Searching for ‘poppler-qt’ (not installed), perhaps version 0.999.0-1.oc00 is available on my-other-great-repo. Even though there are (older) versions available on netlabs-rel, these are not shown in the list of available packages.

If the filter drop-downs are used to show only packages from netlabs-rel, poppler-qt will no longer appear at all. This is because these filters are simply subsets of the already-queried data (and not new queries).

In this case, the only way to view versions of poppler-qt from netlabs-rel is to perform a search, which sends a new query to yum with the show-obsoletes flag set.

This is expected behavior.

  • The i386 architecture has been deprecated in favor of i686. As a result, packages which have been updated for the i686 and pentium4 architectures may not reflect the current version numbers in the available package list, although the icon may indicate that they have been updated recently. Selecting the listed package will always install the latest available for the configured architecture, however. As a workaround, start Arca Noae Package Manager with the /DUP switch. This will cause all available versions (duplicate package names, but all versions and architectures) to be displayed in the available package list. We are working on improving the package filtering logic to address this.
  • Some YUM plugins may cause unpredictable results, as they might when running yum from the command line. These are either limitations of the plugins themselves or how they interact with other applications (namely, Python) on the OS/2 platform.
  • Management of secure repos excludes editing them. This capability is planned for a later release.
  • Changing architectures (i386 to i686, i386 to pentium4, pentium4 to i686, etc.) via editing of @unixroot\etc\rpm\platform may lead to unpredictable results. This is a YUM issue, and not a defect of Arca Noae Package Manager. We are considering ways to help make these changes easier.
  • It is not possible to quickly scroll through lists of files by selecting the first letter of the package name. This is a standard system limitation for these types of windows; the scroll will stop on the first occurrence in any column of the letter pressed, not just the name.
  • Once an operation has started, there is no option to abort. This is intentional, as the idea is to never leave the system in an inconsistent state. Simply allow the operation to complete and then reverse the procedure to undo (e.g., install package A, then uninstall it).
  • Selecting more than one version of the same package for installation always results in the latest version being installed. If it is necessary to install an older version of a package, use the menu choice to install a specific version.
  • It is possible that in some circumstances, enabling the path validation check may cause other applications to stop working correctly. If this is the case for your system, simply disable the path validation check in the Preferences dialog and restore CONFIG.SYS from backup.
  • Inability to reach one or more enabled repositories results in no packages listed as available (refresh fails). This is a limitation of YUM. Verify the repository configuration in the Repository Manager, and perhaps temporarily disable any non-responsive repositories (transient server or network errors could account for being unable to reach an otherwise-valid repository).
  • While it is possible to share the yum cache between multiple boot partitions, be careful to set the UNIXROOT environment variable appropriately for each partition. Arca Noae Package Manager will attempt to warn before downloading and (re)installing a yum/rpm configuration, but it is not possible to foresee every possible scenario.
  • If using a local YUM repository, it must reside on the same volume as the one where Arca Noae Package Manager has been installed.
  • Currently, only RPM packages may be managed by Arca Noae Package Manager. A future release will add support for managing WarpIN archives and repositories.

Advanced techniques

Several methods are available to reduce bandwidth and latency as well as provide connection redundancy and load balancing. Here are some ideas:

Setting up a local repository

See the RPM How-To for end users on the  Netlabs RPM and YUM project page for assistance.

Connecting via a proxy server

To configure yum to connect to all repositories via a proxy server, edit %UNIXROOT%\etc\yum\yum.conf and add the following line in the [main] section:


So, if running a local Squid cache with the default port configured, the proper entry would be:


This will cause all configured repository connections to run through the proxy.

To configure yum to connect via a proxy server only for a specific repository, edit the repository (YUM | Repositories…)  and add the proxy= line to the desired .repo file. You may specify different proxies for different repositories in this manner. The setting in the .repo file overrides the global setting in yum.conf.

To disable the proxy for a given repository, edit the repository (YUM | Repositories…)  and add the following to the desired .repo file:


Currently, it is not possible to configure a per-repository proxy for secure repos. Look for proxy configuration options in a future release of Arca Noae Package Manager.


See the Troubleshooting page for assistance.

For System Builders and VARs

Arca Noae Package Manager supports custom branding to add your own logo and contact information to the Help | Product information panel. Contact Arca Noae for details.