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Bluestreak 03-12-2009 05:43 PM

Software Repositories; What they are, and why they are the best
 
After having installed, OpenOffice 3.0 on my openSUSE 11.0 install, I now fully understand what Repositories are. I gotta tell you, they are the quickest and easiest way to install software on linux. This is the concept; once a software developer finishes writing a piece of software, he/she has to publish it on the internet. Before that happens, the programmer has to compress the files to their smallest, to make it easier to download. Depending on the nature of the program itself, it can also be compressed with automatic install scripts that allow someone who downloads the file, to install it with minimal user interaction. These files are called RPMs. I love RPMs, because it means that you download it, double-click it, and it installs automatically. The problem is that the program as a whole may be composed of more than one RPM, so you have make sure you have all the appropriate RPMs to fully install a program (cedega, java, flash are examples) In some cases, you have to change settings in your system before you can execute an RPM.

Now to the Repository. This concept actually began years ago by Linspire. They introduced this with their CNR technology - Click-N-Run. You installed Linspire, and you got a couple of basic programs. If you wanted the good stuff - like a photo manager, web design program, movie player, etc - you had to buy each program individually. With literally [I]tens of thousands[I] of new software coming out on a weekly basis, it was virtually impossible to charge people to download individual programs. Eventually, Linspire was bought out by Xandros, last year as a matter of fact (July 2, 2008, check it out at the website - www.linspire.com)

At some point, Ubuntu came out. Ubuntu capitalized on the Click-N-Run concept and developed their own software manager that connected the user to all available software sources on the internet Synaptic A Software Repository is essentially a collection of files that make up one program. Think of it as a virtual disc. Before, you used to go the store and buy software discs. The disc itself is a repository of files that make up the program - Quickbooks, Microsoft Office, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, etc. Now, you can download the program directly from the publisher, for free due to the GPL License. Once you download the file, you can install it, with little or no user interaction!

Example of software repositories include:
  • FTP sites
  • Websites - You usually get the address as http://......
  • Local files - If you downloaded the files separately
  • Network Drives - Disc Images
  • USB Keys
  • DVD

The main benefit of using repositories is that the system will match dependencies automatically. In addition, it will tell you what you are missing; in case you didn't copy the files correctly or got a bad download. Using repositories really allow to install a program in three steps:
  1. Download the program
  2. Add it to a repository
  3. Install program from Synaptic, YaST, etc.

You don't have to deal with editing settings in text files anymore (this is very important in openSUSE because YaST overwrites configuration files that you edit yourself)

I've done this to install flash, VideoLAN Client, and now, just an hour ago, OpenOffice.org.

I've tried to install movie players on SuSE Linux for the last three versions 10.2, 10.3, 11.0 following the instructions from various forums, and even the original websites themselves, and got nowhere. Once I figured out how to use the repositories, it was like clockwork, I'm telling you. I finally can watch DVDs on SuSE!!!!!!

If you need any help. Ask away. Let me know what you think of this post. I hope I was able to communicate my point well.

irishbitte 03-12-2009 08:34 PM

No offence mate, but I think maybe you have the wrong end of the stick on a few things!
Quote:

This concept actually began years ago by Linspire.
Linspire was a relatively young distro. Repositories came from the concept of downloading software as opposed to buying it. Red Hat and Debian pioneered this area, due to the software (yum and apt-get respectively) which managed the dependencies end of things. So while it is good that you are enthusiastic, do read a little more! ;)

rkelsen 03-12-2009 08:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bluestreak (Post 3473675)
These files are called RPMs.

Do you know what "RPM" stands for? The answer will surprise you.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bluestreak (Post 3473675)
Now to the Repository. This concept actually began years ago by Linspire.

No. No, it wasn't.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bluestreak (Post 3473675)
At some point, Ubuntu came out. Ubuntu capitalized on the Click-N-Run concept and developed their own software manager that connected the user to all available software sources on the internet Synaptic

...which is simply a GUI "table cloth" for apt-get, which precedes Linspire, Ubuntu and Synaptic by almost 10 years... :)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bluestreak (Post 3473675)
Let me know what you think of this post.

Do you re-write history often? Wanna job at MiniTrue?


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