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:
- Red Hat Packages, known as RPMs, which end in the extension .rpm
- Debian Packages, which end in the extension .deb and are manually installed with the dpkg program.
- Gentoo Ebuilds, for building from source code.
- Tarballs, such as those used by Slackware
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.