I’ve made a little fun experiment this weekend by trying to make a unified package manager user interface. The idea was to design the simplest package manager UI possible. And I’ve come up with something that I really like.

I’ve named the project ‘x’ (I am tired in finding meaningful name derive from Greek god or anything…). Here’s how it works:

The program read a sequence of operations to apply. Each operation is prefixed by a token indicate what the operation kind (install, update or remove).

  • + is used to install a program
  • - is used to remove a program
  • ^ is used to update a program


Install a program

Let’s say we want to install vim:

$ x +vim

Remove a program

Let’s say we want to remove neofetch:

$ x -neofetch

Update a program

Let’s say we want to update gcc:

$ x ^gcc

What if we want to update all packages?

This is sufficient:

$ x ^

Multiple operations

What if we want to perform multiple operations?

$ x +vim -neofetch ^gcc

Yes, this works!

The implementation

The idea was looking great, so I’ve decided to implement it (first in C, then refactoring in Rust).

X is available on MacOS, Windows, and Linux, and simply wrap an underlying package manager (APT, Brew, Chocolatey).

The source code is available on Github.

Happy hacking!