goplay: discover interesting packages

April 12th, 2009 edited by Vicho

goplay is a package browser that lets you find interesting packages that you didn’t knew before. It uses DebTags (categories to describe Debian packages) to classify the packages. The package comes with some generic browsers:

screenshot of goplay

  • goplay Browse games.
  • goadmin Browse admin packages.
  • golearn Browse educational packages.
  • gonet Browse networking related packages.
  • gooffice Browse office packages, e.g. word processors, spreadsheets, project manager, finance managers, etc.
  • gosafe Browse security packages.
  • goweb Browse packages related with the web.

gonet looking for firewalls You can refine your search by specifying the type of package you are looking for, that is, the specific role it has. For example, gonet (the browser of networking related packages) has the following types: “Client”, “Configuration”, “Firewall”, “High Availability”, “Load Balancing”, “Routing”, “Scaning”, “Server”, “Service” and “VPN or Tunneling”. The screenshot in the right shows gonet browsing firewall packages. When you click on a package on the left pane, the right pane shows a description of the package and the DebTags (in the example, ferm, a recently featured package in this site). If a screenshot for the package is available, it is also shown.

The first and second field for classification are automatically set to “type” and “interface”, but you can change that using the options --primary and --secondary. For example, you can prune the list of packages based on the purpose of the package using the option --secondary=use. You can find more information about the predefined tags (also known as “facets”) in the Debian Wiki.

goplay is available in Debian Lenny and Ubuntu (since Hardy).

Your turn

Have you found an interesting package with goplay? Share it with the community and send us a good article! We’re running out of them!

Posted in Debian, Ubuntu |

11 Responses

  1. Darwin Survivor Says:

    I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I could only find a total of about 20 packages (all categories included).

  2. lone_surfer Says:

    Yea, I only get about 4 packages to show no matter what I do

  3. Vicho Says:

    I don’t know why you don’t see any packages. In my system, the list of goplay is several screens long.

    I haven’t test it in Ubuntu, though. Maybe DebTags are not present in Ubuntu packages?

  4. John Says:

    Really great idea, but the interface is terribly clumsy, with 80% of the space taken by the package list.

    With a more capable toolkit this would be a must-have. And only if more packages had thumbnails instead of a handful of games, it would be more appealing.

  5. Philipp Kern Says:

    Please note that it almost certainly does not work on Ubuntu. I think that part should also be pruned from the article. Ubuntu does not have support for Debtags and only auto-synced the package from Debian.

  6. Jerry Perkins Says:

    Suggest running this first:
    $ sudo ept-cache reindex

  7. atopos Says:

    Maybe the ubuntu malfunction is related to an open bug report for goplay:

    In the meantime you can follow the commandline way via aptitude:

    aptitude ‘~Gkey1 ~Gkey2 …’

    That’s my preferred way ;-)

  8. atopos Says:

    Of course, it should be:

    aptitude search ‘~Gkey1 ~Gkey2 …’

    instead of a simple aptitude

  9. Crit-Tick Says:

    I am somewhat new to Linux/Unix and am in search of “PACKAGES” that should already be in the distro (9.04), as promised, by It seems I need the packages for, music(MP3’s), videos(AVI’s), movies(MPG 1,2 and 4) and WMA, WMV, etc. I’ve been searching for a week now and all I can find is crap you call interesting. Interesting? NOPE!! Finding something interesting would be a nice change, if it was to better the software, instead of clogging it up with crap. I can’t play them anyway. Seems I need a package for that. I need a package to make my wireless work. I need a package every time I try and run something. Should I even bother with it? Go back to Microsft Windows? At least Windows “searches” for wireless conections. Do I need a package for that? Is it here? Can you point me in the right direction?

  10. Crit-Tick Says:

  11. Andrew Malcolmson Says:

    Crit-Tick: Questions on how to install support for media formats or how to enable wireless have been asked and answered countless times before. Please read the Ubuntu beginner documentation here were the questions you are asking are answered:

    Comments pages like this one are not where to ask general questions. Please use the Ubuntu forums if you need more help.