Zero Install

the antidote to app-stores

Anyone can distribute software

If you have a web-site, you can distribute your software;
Create one package that works everywhere;
With dependency handling and automatic updates;
There is no central point of control

Security is central

Installing a word-processor doesn't grant it administrator access;
Digital signatures are always checked before new software is run;
Users share libraries without having to trust each other;
Use with sandboxes and virtualisation is easy

You control your own computer

You don't have to guess what happens during installation;
Mix and match stable and experimental programs on a single system

Zero Install is a decentralised cross-distribution software installation system. Other features include full support for shared libraries (with a SAT solver for dependency resolution), sharing between users, and integration with native platform package managers. It supports both binary and source packages, and works on Linux, OS X, Unix and Windows systems. It is fully Open Source.

0install introduction
(screencast with audio commentary)

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News

Sep 2014
Lots of progress on auto compilation support in 0install. This allows 0install to compile missing dependencies from source automatically (previously, this required getting and running 0compile).
Aug 2014
There's a new 0bootstrap-php service for creating installation scripts for Windows and Unix for users who don't want to learn about 0install before installing something. The bug reporting tool now offers hints for common problems. Work has started on a queuing service to support 0repo repositories for groups (where multiple developers can submit new packages to a shared repository and have them imported by a service).
Jul 2014
0compile gains support for a "pin-components" attribute, to say that a source implementation can build against different versions of a library, but whichever version is picked, the resulting binary must run with a similar version (e.g. same major.minor components). The Python to OCaml: Retrospective blog post looks back at the now-complete porting work.
Jun 2014
0install 2.7 released. This contains lots of minor fixes and code cleanups, better binary compatibility (we no longer depend on OpenSSL and don't require GLib unless the GUI is used). Installation on Windows is now much simpler and "0install select" should be working correctly there (unpacking archives requires a .NET helper, however). A new Generic OS X application bundle template for 0install applications makes it easy to create an installer for OS X users who don't already have 0install.
May 2014
In Debian, the old zeroinstall-injector package has been replaced by separate 0install and 0install-core packages. The 0install-core package doesn't include the GTK GUI, which is very useful on headless servers because it doesn't pull in the whole GUI stack. 0install 2.6 for Windows was released. There are now NuGet packages, allowing 3rd party .NET developers to integrate Zero Install functionality into their applications. There's a new 0install Homebrew package for OS X users.

[ full news archive ]

For more information see the mailing list archives and the history / roadmap page.