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Having Yum for Breakfast

Jun 18, 2009, 17:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Christopher Smart)

[ Thanks to An Anonymous Reader for this link. ]

"In Linux however, everything is integrated and simple to use. Most of the software you'll ever want to install is not only search-able from a single window on your desktop, it's also installable with a single click. Not only that, but for the extra charge of absolutely nothing all future upgrades are taken care of for you, along with the rest of the system.

"The problem is that generally it's a very distribution specific thing, because, well that's what distributions do. Each system is built with their own version of various system libraries and even though binaries may work across several distributions, they are just as often incompatible. While users can download and install packages themselves, the system is best controlled by a package manager which keeps track of everything. Installing packages manually might by-pass the manager, making the system inconsistent. Therefore, most packages are managed through a repository; a database of available applications. If an application the user wants is not available in an official repository, there are hundreds of extras available on-line. If a user can find an appropriate binary for their system, package managers can install it along with any required dependencies automatically - so long as they are available in the repository.

"But why are package managers so important?"

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