Install an .ipk package without having the ipkg package management system (for end-users)

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This article is based on the work of nix from

In case you somehow obtained an .ipk package which you want to install, but if you don't have the ipkg package management system installed (or it is not working), the following are the steps to manually install an .ipk package:

  • Become root
su -
  • Download the package. E.g.
mkdir /tmp/inst
cd /tmp/inst
wget http://url-of-package/package.ipk
  • Unpack the ipk outer wrapper
tar xvfz package.ipk
  • Unpack the control file
tar xvfz control.tar.gz
  • Look for scripts such as preinst and postinst
  • Run the preinst script, if any
  • Unpack the main tarball under /
cd /
tar xvfz /tmp/inst/data.tar.gz
  • Run the postinst script, if any
cd /tmp/inst
  • Cleanup
cd /tmp
rm -rf inst

The above commands just peels of the different archive wrappers, as explained in the other ipkg articles, and unpacks the files into the file tree. What it doesn't do is to record what has been installed. So uninstalling the data can be quite cumbersome.