February 22, 2007

Packaging report wrap-up

Author: Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier

Over the last few days we've covered a wide range of software packaging and installation utilities. Some, like Autopackage, Klik, GoboLinux's packaging system, InstallJammer, and Zero Install are nascent solutions designed to make package creation, installation, and management simpler.

But no report on packaging would be complete without looking at the most common utilities in use today. We've looked at RPM's revival, Slackware's package utilities, and creating your own Debian packages. We didn't cover Gentoo's Portage this time around, but we have covered Portagerecently and will continue to look in on Gentoo in the future.

Of all the special reports we've run, packaging has far and away outstripped other topics in terms of reader discussion. Bruce Byfield's piece on Autopackage, for example, has generated a great deal of insightful commentary (and a few trolls) about the state of packaging and whether Autopackage can solve some of the problems that Linux users are facing.

It's clear that there's a lot of interest in packaging on Linux, and a lot of interest in dealing with the less-than-optimal situation that exists now. We have a lot of interesting and innovative solutions for installing and managing software, but users and ISVs would clearly like a unified solution. While that may be in the works, it's going to be a long time coming.

As always, we'd like to get your feedback on the packaging report, and other special reports. Tell us what you liked, what you didn't, and what you'd like to see covered in the future. You can leave a comment here, or shoot us a reply via email. Thanks for reading!

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