gnome-packagekit is a suite of tools for the GNOME desktop

PackageKit is designed to unify all the software graphical tools used in different distributions. It abstracts the various underlying package management technologies like yum, apt, smart etc. and provides unified graphical and command line frontends. It also provides a framework that includes programming interfaces that other software applications can take advantage of. It is not a replacement for existing package managers like yum.

Some of the architectural advantages of PackageKit over other package management solutions are that the PackageKit daemon runs as a system process that is not tied to any user session, which means that a long-running update or installation will not be interrupted if the user who started it logs out. Tasks are queued up, meaning that a user can initiate multiple tasks which will be executed one by one and also that multiple users can also use PackageKit in parallel without completely locking each other out. Access to all privileged operations is controlled via PolicyKit.

Figure 1PolicyKit Permissions UI