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The Linux Command Line by William E. Shotts Jr.

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How a Package System Works

The method of software distribution found in the proprietary software industry usually entails buying a piece of installation media such as an “install disk” and then running an “installation wizard” to install a new application on the system.

Linux doesn’t work that way. Virtually all software for a Linux system is found on the Internet. Most of it is provided by the distribution vendor in the form of package files, and the rest is available in source code form, which can be installed manually. We’ll talk a little about how to install software by compiling source code in Chapter 23.

Package Files

The basic unit of software in a packaging system is the package file. A package file is a compressed collection of files that ...

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