LinuxQuestions.org
Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 02-06-2009, 10:17 AM   #1
QueenZ
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2008
Distribution: openSUSE, Ubuntu
Posts: 372
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 32
What are packages?


Windows user here. I've seen packages in linux so many times.. I don't see this word in windows. What does it mean? And what are they? Why do i see this word in linux so often but don't in windows?
 
Old 02-06-2009, 10:24 AM   #2
camorri
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Somewhere inside 9.9 million sq. km. Canada
Distribution: Slackware 14.1, 14.2
Posts: 5,090

Rep: Reputation: 483Reputation: 483Reputation: 483Reputation: 483Reputation: 483
A package is a set of files to install an application. There will be a Package Manager program on the system to install the 'package'.

Quote:
Why do i see this word in linux so often but don't in windows?
It is just a term for a collection of files. It is in a specific format so the package manager can install it correctly.

Packages are specific to a distribution. You would not try to install a Ubuntu package on a Mandriva system, or visa, versa.
 
Old 02-06-2009, 10:33 AM   #3
jdkaye
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Dec 2008
Location: Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, UK
Distribution: Debian Testing Amd64
Posts: 5,464

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Hi QueenZ,
Nobody says it better than Wiki so I'll quote them
Quote:
Linux distributions are normally segmented into packages. Each package contains a specific application or service. Examples of packages include a library for handling the PNG image format, a collection of fonts, or a web browser.
So basically they are units of software that you download and install on your linux box. How they are formatted and handled is one of the main differences among various linux distros.
cheers,
jdk
 
Old 02-07-2009, 11:09 AM   #4
QueenZ
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2008
Distribution: openSUSE, Ubuntu
Posts: 372
Blog Entries: 2

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 32
oh.. and so Package Manager is just a program that all package file extnsions are associated to? Like Package.pkg and Package Manager will open it and install the package?
 
Old 02-07-2009, 11:27 AM   #5
jdkaye
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Dec 2008
Location: Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, UK
Distribution: Debian Testing Amd64
Posts: 5,464

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenZ View Post
oh.. and so Package Manager is just a program that all package file extnsions are associated to? Like Package.pkg and Package Manager will open it and install the package?
Yeah, that's about it. Package managers are called things like "yum" or "aptitude". The extensions I know about are .deb (for Debian or Debian-based distros) or .rpm (for Fedora, Suse, etc.).
cheers,
jdk
 
Old 02-07-2009, 11:39 AM   #6
QueenZ
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2008
Distribution: openSUSE, Ubuntu
Posts: 372
Blog Entries: 2

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 32
Yum and Aptitude are 2 programs (installers) right?

But why can't it be like in windows where there is just one .exe file and there is no need for other installer programs..
 
Old 02-07-2009, 01:24 PM   #7
camorri
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Somewhere inside 9.9 million sq. km. Canada
Distribution: Slackware 14.1, 14.2
Posts: 5,090

Rep: Reputation: 483Reputation: 483Reputation: 483Reputation: 483Reputation: 483
Quote:
But why can't it be like in windows where there is just one .exe file and there is no need for other installer programs
Each distro is a custom version of linux. In fact a distro is a linux kernel plus a lot of other linux programs. The installer may check for pre-req's ( or may not ). Each distro tests to a greater, or lesser degree compatibility. If you look into the code, you will find various releases of every component that exists. So the distro people have to decide what release of each piece of the package will work with the application that is to be installed. They bundle the pieces into a package.

Part of what is different between windoze and linux, is linux code tends to get written once. Then if an application needs the function of another piece of code, the original code is used, they don't re-write a new version of the same code. Windoze on the other hand, the code is developed my a company wanting to be paid for their effort. So they write the whole thing, don't share the code, even if much of the same code exists elsewhere. The wheel keeps getting re-invented. So the windoze writers create a new program, and put it in one .exe self installing file.

Each distro has its own philosophy. You can do what you want with it. Micro$ dictates how code there will be set up.

Beyond packages, you can get the source code. This allows you, if you want to alter a program, and then compile it, and install. You can literally change an application to your needs.

Windoze apps come as binary files only. You can not easily alter how the program functions. You can only change things through what configuration the creator intended.

Hope this helps.
 
Old 02-07-2009, 02:39 PM   #8
jdkaye
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Dec 2008
Location: Westgate-on-Sea, Kent, UK
Distribution: Debian Testing Amd64
Posts: 5,464

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenZ View Post
Yum and Aptitude are 2 programs (installers) right?

But why can't it be like in windows where there is just one .exe file and there is no need for other installer programs..
Aha, my dear Watson. There isn't "just one .exe file". You can hide a lot of mischief in one .exe file. It's a bit like saying "just one tar.gz" file. That one file really is a bundle or package of many other files. So each windows .exe file that installs a new program is really another installer program.

Given the choice, I choose packages!

Once you get used to them, it will be hard to imagine any other way of doing things.

Have fun!
jdk

Last edited by jdkaye; 02-07-2009 at 02:40 PM.
 
Old 02-07-2009, 08:27 PM   #9
okos
Member
 
Registered: May 2007
Location: California
Distribution: Slackware/Ubuntu
Posts: 609

Rep: Reputation: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenZ View Post
oh.. and so Package Manager is just a program that all package file extnsions are associated to? Like Package.pkg and Package Manager will open it and install the package?
Not quite...
In the sense that you cannot necessarily download source code and expect the package manager to handle it.
Say you download <new file>.tar.gz, your package manager will not install it for you.

The package manager will manage the programs you have pre-installed and will install a new program using apt-get... in command line or the package manager gui.
From the gui (graphical user interface) in other words window, you can update the package manager and view the list of available packages. Debian /ubuntu have around 20,000 available packages for you to download and install on your system.
The package manager will also resolve dependency issues. Say your package requires a different package to run properly, the package manager will figure out all needed additional packages and install them also.
 
Old 02-08-2009, 04:43 AM   #10
QueenZ
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2008
Distribution: openSUSE, Ubuntu
Posts: 372
Blog Entries: 2

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 32
but what if there's no Package Manager in my distro??
 
Old 02-08-2009, 06:52 AM   #11
brianL
LQ 5k Club
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Oldham, Lancs, England
Distribution: Slackware & Slackware64 14.1
Posts: 7,453
Blog Entries: 55

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenZ View Post
but what if there's no Package Manager in my distro??
It's a while since I tried OpenSuse, but I'm positive it has a package manager and help files to tell you where it is and how to use it.
 
Old 02-08-2009, 06:56 AM   #12
camorri
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Somewhere inside 9.9 million sq. km. Canada
Distribution: Slackware 14.1, 14.2
Posts: 5,090

Rep: Reputation: 483Reputation: 483Reputation: 483Reputation: 483Reputation: 483
Quote:
but what if there's no Package Manager in my distro??
What distro would that be?

If there is no package manager, then it is up to you to find software on public locations like Sourceforge. You will find thousands of programs there in source format. Download them, compile them, and install them. It is up to the user in this case to look after dependencies.
 
Old 02-08-2009, 03:09 PM   #13
okos
Member
 
Registered: May 2007
Location: California
Distribution: Slackware/Ubuntu
Posts: 609

Rep: Reputation: 37
See the following links regarding installing using various package managers.
http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/Installing_Software

Great tutorial on installing from source.
http://www.linuxquestions.org/linux/...ms_from_Source
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
how to save a list of installed packages and install these packages later mandavi Ubuntu 5 09-07-2009 12:36 PM
how to show up all available packages in system-config-packages (RHEL 5) sean_zhang Linux - Newbie 1 03-10-2008 06:05 AM
Updating packages from redhat - insatlling *.hdr packages jomy Linux - Networking 1 01-18-2005 09:36 AM
Mandrake Update/Install Packages/Remove Packages wslyhbb Mandriva 2 03-15-2004 10:43 AM
creating packages (.tgz/.deb/.rpm) How from the source packages? l_9_l Linux - General 1 03-06-2002 07:03 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:29 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration