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Old 05-23-2005, 07:08 AM   #1
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What is a package?

Could someone explain what a package is? What it is comprised of?
Old 05-23-2005, 07:32 AM   #2
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package: a collection of things wrapped or boxed together

in computers u can say that as when several piece of code or software that are clubbed together.
Old 05-23-2005, 02:33 PM   #3
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I'm adding a little more info to this thread (sry if i treat anyone as an idiot, but better keep i to simple than to hard).

(almost) All computer programs are made up of a bunch of files. There is the main executable (the "program"), configuration-files (the ones that remember stuff you change in teh program), shared-librarys (stuff many programs use together), icons (for the "start-menu") and stuff like this. But you normally just download one file like program.exe in windows, program.deb in debian or program.rpm in redHat/Mandrake. These singel files that you use to install the program is called a package. They contain all the files needed for the program to work...

So, in binay-distribution-linux-lingo you don't install "programs" or "software", you install packages
Hence, Openoffice is one package, Mozilla another and so on....

gentoo is of course a totally different ballgame
Old 05-23-2005, 02:57 PM   #4
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Originally posted by jalakas
There is the main executable (the "program"), configuration-files (the ones that remember stuff you change in teh program), shared-librarys (stuff many programs use together), icons (for the "start-menu") and stuff like this.
this is an interesting topic. what exactly is inside those libraries and who creates them? do they change from time to time and is this a problem for the programs that use them? if so, who is in charge of the management of these changes?
Old 05-23-2005, 03:36 PM   #5
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The libraries are executable code. They usually implement common functionality, aspell for example is a library that implements spell checking. Most libraries that are used by different programs have their own packages, so they only need to be installed once.
They do change from time to time and occasionally this can cause problems for the programs that use them. The creator of the distribution (debian, mandrake, ...) makes sure that all program and library packages work correctly together.
Old 05-23-2005, 06:58 PM   #6
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What is a Debian package? Oriented toward Debian, but still explains the concept well.

Packages generally contain all of the files necessary to implement a set of related commands or features. There are two types of Debian packages:

* Binary packages, which contain executables, configuration files, man/info pages, copyright information, and other documentation.

* Source packages, which consist of a .dsc file describing the source package (including the names of the following files), a .orig.tar.gz file that contains the original unmodified source in gzip-compressed tar format and usually a .diff.gz file that contains the Debian-specific changes to the original source. The utility dpkg-source packs and unpacks Debian source archives; details are provided in its manual page.

Installation of software by the package system uses "dependencies" which are carefully designed by the package maintainers. These dependencies are documented in the control file associated with each package. For example, the package containing the GNU C compiler (gcc) "depends" on the package binutils which includes the linker and assembler. If a user attempts to install gcc without having first installed binutils, the package management system (dpkg) will send an error message that it also needs binutils, and stop installing gcc.

"Introduction to Package Types"

Last edited by craigevil; 05-23-2005 at 07:03 PM.


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