Software package

From LQWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Packages are a method for distributing software. The purpose of a package is to wrap up all of the files belonging to one piece of software into a single file.

Package management takes this concept a step further by adding dependencies, install and uninstall scripts, default configurations, and version management. For linux, packages generally fall into three major and mostly incompatible package formats:

The Red Hat format is the most widespread format, found in Red Hat, Mandrake and many other distributions. The Debian format has gained popularity recently thanks to Debian-based distributions such as Knoppix. Slackware recently added scripts for installation and upgrading to newer versions of packages without destroying configuration files.