OSTree is an open source and freely distributed command-line utility implemented in C and designed for managing bootable, versioned and immutable file system trees. It is also known as the GNOME OS build tool.
The software is designed in such a way that it takes over the role of a traditional package managers, such as dpkg and rpm. However, it is not a package system or a utility for managing full disk images. It's actually a blend of the disadvantages and advantages of both.
Who uses OSTree?
This is the question that many of you would ask from the beginning, so we feel obliged to tell you that the well known GNOME Continuous integration system uses the OSTree package as a native deployment mechanism, among many other projects.
The following built-in commands are available in the application: admin, cat, commit, config, checkout, checksum, diff, fsck, init, log, ls, refs, reset, prune, pull, pull-local, remote, rev-parse, show, static-delta and trivial-httpd. They can be viewed at a glance by running the ‘./ostree --help’ command in a terminal emulator.
Getting started with OSTree
OSTree requires installation, so you should grab the latest version from Softpedia, save it on your computer, extract it and open a terminal emulator to navigate to the location of the extracted archive files using the ‘cd’ command (e.g. cd /home/softpedia/ostree-2014.4).
Next, you should take a look at the available options for the ‘./configure’ command (e.g. ./configure --help), if you want to optimize the software for a specific hardware architecture (32-bit and 64-bit are supported at this time) and operating system.
Run the ‘make’ command to compile the program, followed by the ‘sudo make install’ command, which must be run as a privileged user, or the ‘make install’ command as root (system administrator).