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Updating Your System: GNU/Linux 5, Windows 0

Oct 21, 2008, 03:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ryan Cartwright)

[ Thanks to steve hill for this link. ]

"Like it or not modern operating systems all require updates and patching. Some updates require updates to underlying libraries and utilities. Intelligent systems will download and update those at the same time. By using software that can be freely distributed, then you can take advantage of this kind of intelligent feature. Most GNU/Linux distributions handle this through their package-management tools. The really intelligent ones will warn if you updating a library is going to break other software, and because of the sharing nature of free software that means most GNU/Linux distributions. The mistrusting nature of proprietary software vendors means one package update could break some other software on your system.

"Conversely because of the mistrusting nature of proprietary software vendors ("It's our code you can't have access to it!"), you can get into situations where one package update requires a library update which will break some other software on your system. Anybody who has had to repair a Windows system that was broken by upgrading the anti-virus suite will know what I mean here."

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