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If you have an RPM-based distribution, then yes, RPM. That is the RedHat Package Manager. Debian, Mandrake, RedHat/FedoraCore, etc. use this system.
Which distribution are you running?
By the way, to list which packages are installed without the list running irretrevably off the top of the screen, enter the command:
rpm -qa | less
The | less part is extremely useful for several commands, including ls (for example: ls -la | less is a good way of seeing the top part of the output if it fills mor than the screen), if there are too many files... it will allow you to scroll through the output inside the less program instead of just spitting it out to the screen and finishing.
Anyway, let us know which distro you are running and then we can give you an answer to your question.
Since someone got to the post before I did... let me disambiguate...
He mentioned yum, which is an update manager. It will search a list of servers that mantain current versions of the rpms (packages, which tends to indicate applications or programs, though they can be anything, really) you have installed on your system and keep them up to date.
RPM, on the other hand, is the actual package manager.
Yum uses RPM to check which rpms are already installed on your system and what versions they are. Then it goes online and checks whatever repositories it is set up to check for new versions. Once it identifies new versions, it downloads them (in the rpm format) and uses RPM once again to install them and update the rpm log... Which is vaguely similar to the Register in Windows (which your Add/Remove Programs tool deals with in Windows).
Ah, Yum also has features which will look for and install software packages that you tell it to, and generally can alleviate (or at least identify) any missing dependencies (again via RPM). It can only do this if you research the proper name of whatever application you are looking for, and tell Yum to look for it in the correct repositories.
One final note, the RedHat utility, up2date can and does work just fine from the command line. It just looks dofferent. It is really just a slightly friendlier Python-based front end for Yum and two other update utilities all working together.
Last edited by TheGiantPotato; 08-29-2005 at 04:56 AM.
Tnks for the description giant, i know that rpm -qa | less will list the packages that are installed, but it shows a listing as individual packages and not as a group. For eg. if i have not installed GNOME package during the original installation, and now if i want to install it, from terminal window i.e. X not installed, then i have to look out for the individual packages to install GNOME. It does not give me an option to select it as a single group i.e. just like various option given at the time of installation GNOME, X, KDE etc. and one can simply select a particular group.
PS : i am running RH9 and Fedora.
Last edited by IwantLINUX; 08-29-2005 at 11:21 PM.
There are only three things you can really do with software packages: install, update and uninstall.
Spoon has solved install (remember my xmmx example? That actually installs a whole package of libraries that are used by other media programs as well as the xmmx basic interface rpm (xmmx has several) and the guts of xmmx itself all at once). You need to look up yum's docutmentation a little more and see exactlyhow it is handling sets of packages instead of individual rpms and make sure there aren't any major inconsistencies, whatever commands are neccessary to invoke this functionality under all circumstances and find out if there are any outstanding issues with using Yum (and if there are any outstanding installation issues with each set of software you want to install. Yum is only as smart as the people who packaged the rpms).
Upgrades can be handled similarly by Yum. Its not hard and is its main function anyway.
Uninstalling... now that is not something I know much about. I have never had a situation where I was having to dig through a lot of RPMS that yum didn't put there for me to uninstall something specific. You certainly don't want to break any cross-dependencies on libraries (media libraries and codecs are a good example of this). I know rpm has an uninstall option, but I don't know exactly how it works, where the definitions for dependencies come from, if rpm is aware of cross-dependencies, etc. If this is the last piece of your puzzle, I'm afraid I'm not of much help here. If you find out, post it here so I can learn it. I'm sure there's plenty of information available somewhere.