Appendix. Software Management Cheatsheets

Software on Linux comes in packages. These packages contain all the files that belong to a particular application, such as a web browser, word processor, and games. Linux systems use shared libraries, which are shared by multiple applications. Most packages on Linux are not self-contained, but depend on shared files.

The graphical software manager on most Linux distributions is GNOME-Software, also called Software (Figure A-1). Software is well organized, with categories and good search capabilities.

GNOME-Software
Figure A-1. GNOME-Software

Package Management Commands

Every Linux distribution uses three types of software management commands:

  • A package manager, which manages only single packages. Fedora and openSUSE use the rpm package manager, Ubuntu uses dpkg.

  • A dependency-resolving package manager. Fedora uses dnf, openSUSE uses zypper, and Ubuntu has apt. Dependency-resolving package managers ensure that any dependencies for a particular package are automatically resolved. For example, the gedit text editor has a long list of dependencies, as this example for apt illustrates:

    $  apt depends gedit gedit Depends: gedit-common (<< 3.37) Depends: gedit-common (>= 3.36) Depends: gir1.2-glib-2.0 Depends: gir1.2-gtk-3.0 (>= 3.21.3) Depends: gir1.2-gtksource-4 Depends: gir1.2-pango-1.0 Depends: gir1.2-peas-1.0 Depends: gsettings-desktop-schemas Depends: ...

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