GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
Wajig: Packages and Administration
Wajig is an interface to many Debian administrative tasks. It consists of two interfaces: wajig is a command line interface and gjig is a Gnome interface.
Wajig commands are entered as the first argument to wajig. For example: "wajig install gnome". On the other hand, gjig has buttons for many of the commands, whilst also allowing commands to be typed directly. Gjig is also self documenting, providing extensive documentation as tooltips.
The word jig has a couple of meanings, as WordNet and Webster's 1913 Dictionary will confirm. It is a small machine or handy tool used to guide other tools. It is also a quick dance, generally an old rustic dance involving kicking and leaping, as well as a light, humorous piece of writing, especially in rhyme, a farce in verse, or a ballad. "A jig shall be clapped at, and every rhyme praised and applauded!" For wajig, `wa' is Japanese, indicating `harmony' and `team spirit and unity.'
Written in Python, wajig uses traditional Debian administration and user tools including apt-get, dpkg, apt-cache, wget, and others. It is intended to unify and simplify common administrative tasks.
Wajig has evolved over many years and there's an ever growing band of users. It has some of the same aims as the feta package and I thought to wrap the extra wajig features into feta, but a number of users suggested that wajig should stay. So it was rewritten from its original shell script to be a Python program. It is available under the GPL.
As wajig is simply my frontend to various other commands the goal of this chapter is more than simply demonstrating how to manage your system with wajig. Wajig may not be the answer you are looking for and that is fine. Where ever I illustrate a procedure with wajig I will often indicate the underlying commands that are being used to effect the wajig command. You can then use these underlying commands directly if you prefer.
For a guide on creating your own package for Debian see Chapter 71
Online information about wajig includes Karl Schmidt's rpm to apt-get/dpkg page at http://xtronics.com/reference/rpm2apt-dpkg.htm, and this guide at http://survivor.sarovar.org/wajig.html.