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Old 02-04-2011, 06:27 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2011
Location: India
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Binary and Source packages difference

Very often we get to hear Binary / Source when we talk about installing packages...From what I understand "Binary" refers to a natively packaged installation by a Distro wheras installation from Source would entail fetching the files , Compiling and then building the package

When we say "source" where do these codes reside? Is it diffferent for different distros or one common source like "" or similar?! I know it sounds silly but what is the origin of the source codes??

One general remedy if a package is not found is to install from source... So , source would refer to a "tar.gz" or "bz2" archive present at some location like ""
In some cases , id it possible that some packageas are not available in "Source"

When I tried to build a package for a particular distro , I was told that some dependencies are not un the source ...What is the meaning of this? So do all distros maintain the codes in their official repositories?
This concept is kinda sketchy!!
Old 02-04-2011, 07:07 AM   #2
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A binary is an installable package for a particular distribution or collection of distros sharing a same package management. You can very broadly compare a binary package to a executable or msi for windows. Just for an example though.
While source is as it says source code that needs to be compiled and installed manually using development tools. .tar.gz or bz2 are archiving and compression methods. Something like rar and zip in windows.
You may find free softwares available in binary format but without source. These are not shared under GPL. It should depend on the owner or developer of the software which license to use and how to distribute the software.
As far as dependencies are concerned, they are there no matter how you install a package either from source or from a binary executable. You can automate the dependency checking and resolution using package manager for the particular distribution. For example, apt for debian and derivatives, yum for red hat, fedora and derivatives like centos.
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