DEB & RPM policy
Some games on itch.io ship with a .deb or .rpm package file.
However, itch (the desktop app), does not support DEB or RPM and will never support them.
Players: if a game you like is distributed using .deb or .rpm, and your Linux distribution supports that format, you always have the option to download it directly from itch.io and install it manually.
Developers: follow the guide to get your app running with itch.
Why not just have itch do `sudo apt-get install somegame.deb`?
In descending order of seriousness:
- It would be a security concern.
- APT and YUM packages have post-install scripts that are run as root & can harm your system.
- Proper package repositories are usually signed by people you trust (maintainers of your distribution, the itch.io team, etc.)
- (Signing random packages wouldn't solve anything — it would just make our signature worthless)
- It would be distribution-specific
- We're trying to keep itch as distribution-agnostic as possible: it runs great on vanilla Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, ArchLinux, etc.
- It would break several itch features
- Installing packages system-wide would occupy disk space outside of the designated Install locations
- As a side-effect, we couldn't compute the space taken by an install location, or even find which execs to launch
- (Sure, we can get dpkg to list installed files & work from that — which is another codepath to maintain, another tool's output to parse, with potentially several versions to support, etc., increasing the app's complexity and potential for bugs)
Why do you distribute .deb and .rpm packages of itch then?
- Is a piece of utility software
- ...that needs an easy way to stay up-to-date for end-users
- ...that registers a protocol scheme handler (`itchio://`), creates a desktop shortcut, etc.
Doing this is a lot of work, but if you choose to distribute your own software, you should definitely have it do all these things — shortcut creation, have a repository (with packages signed by yourself) for easy upgrades, etc. If you don't, then you're better off shipping a much simpler portable version of your game.
.deb and .rpm packages are basically archives right? Couldn't you extract them yourself?
We tried that, and it was more trouble than it was worth.