What is a PEAR Channel? PEAR Channels make it possible to take advantage of the strengths of the PEAR Installer and Pyrus for your own personal packages. A channel is simply a website that provides packages for download and a few extra meta-information files.
A familiar example of a channel is pear.php.net. This channel was the first channel, and defines the standards to which other channels must adhere. Each channel has a channel.xml file in its document root (such as http://pear.php.net/channel.xml) and a series of files utilizing the REST (Representational State Transfer) paradigm to describe the packages available for installation and download. The pear.php.net channel's REST files can be viewed at http://pear.php.net/rest.