February 13, 2006

Do-It Yourself Computing 2: Packages

In Linux Land, distributions are often divided into categories based on how they manage software. It's more than just keeping track of what is installed, but what version. The obvious issue is security updates. Software is usually offered in packages. Sometimes they are all self-contained; often there are packages which depend on others. These dependencies usually make sense, but not always. You don't have to be a developer to know there is no sense in requiring one package with another, when the second won't even use the first. Yet I assure you it does happen. Sometimes it's a simple matter of adding extra packages to add extra functions. Either way, it helps if the package management is smart enough to tell you what it needs to run when there's something missing.

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