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How do you find and choose free software?

Sep 21, 2010, 00:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ryan Cartwright)

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"So you've got your GNU/Linux based box. You've installed the base system and you're good to go. Welcome to the world of freedom. But then what? How do you determine what packages to install. How do you decide which of the alternatives to go with?

"Package managers

"I accept that the obvious answer here is to find your software in the package management tools provided by your distribution, but that may not help very much. Take Debian for example: excellent package management via dpkg, apt and associated tools but you still have something in excess of 20,000 packages to deal with. Whilst many of those will be libraries, data files and the like, it still leaves you with a lot of applications from which to choose. No matter how simple a package manager will make the installation of software, it doesn't always help that much with choosing it in the first place. Even if you use the search tools in the package manager you are still left with a decision between the various options presented in the results."

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