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Unix in a Nutshell, 4th Edition by Arnold Robbins

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Chapter 6. Package Management

Package management systems automate the installation, removal and upgrade of software. Different systems do things in similar but not identical ways. GNU/Linux systems have the most highly developed package management systems. This chapter describes the facilities available for Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X. It presents the following topics:

  • Linux package management

  • The Red Hat package manager

  • Yum: Yellowdog Updater Modified

  • up2date: Red Hat update agent

  • The Debian package manager

  • Mac OS X package management

  • Solaris package management

Linux Package Management

This chapter describes the two major Linux packaging systems: the Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) and the Debian GNU/Linux Package Manager. It also describes the major frontend applications designed to simplify and automate package management: yum and up2date for RPM-based systems, aptitude and synaptic for Debian-based systems, and apt, which is a Debian package management tool that is now also available for RPM-based systems.

When you install applications on your Linux system, most often you'll find a binary or a source package containing the application you want, instead of (or in addition to) a .tar.gz file. A package is a file containing the files necessary to install an application. However, while the package contains the files you need for installation, the application might require the presence of other files or packages that are not included, such as particular libraries (and even specific versions ...

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