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Old 12-23-2007, 02:26 AM   #1
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Package systems?

Could someone help me out? Im quite lost in terms of packages. I read that for debian, there is apt-get, for gentoo there's portage, for fedora, there's yum..

whats the difference between them? (and other that i may not have listed..)
Old 12-23-2007, 02:35 AM   #2
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As I understand it, the main difference is in the packages available, how they're downloaded and installed, and how they're updated...
Old 12-23-2007, 07:22 AM   #3
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You are elliding two separate things; packages (package formats) and package managers.

For package formats, the popular ones are .deb and .rpm, although some distros use others (you don't actually need a package format - it simplifies the installation and removal of packages - .tar.gz files, which are really just compressed file trees work, but it is the 'do it yourself', or 'write-a-script-for-it yourself' option).

The 'packaged package' is going to have to contain the application itself, information about dependancies, information how to set up the config file and other post-install housekeeping. It should also contain information about what to do on a de-install. But they do, so its not something to get worried about.

Then there are package managers and update tools; these do the actual installation and de-installation. Some have GUI front ends and some are command line. some will work with many package formats and some specialise. Some (more or less) rely on having a reasonable net connection to perform convenient updates and additions.

Usually, if you choose a distro that will chose the preferred package format for you (and may be one of the important factors in your choice of distro). Pretty much all of the debian-derived distros (& there are quite a few) are .deb distros, and for these you will have a choice of synaptic, adept, kpackage, etc. as the gui tools. For the Red Hat derived ones (and there are quite a few RH 'clones') and SuSE, you'll have YUM and Yast, but you can also use the rpm command from the command line.

You could also use Smart which is format-agnostic if you wanted, but, offhand, I can't think of anything that uses smart by default.

Gentoo and portage is a bit different; originally at least, Gentoo complied all the packages in place, rather than downloading pre-compiled packages. These days, gentoo has retreated a bit from compiling absolutely all of the packages in place, but it was originally set up to automatically manage this process.
Old 12-23-2007, 09:37 PM   #4
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