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Having Yum for Breakfast

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Software

Package management is one of the selling points of Linux distributions. Nothing else comes close. While many argue that it’s much easier to install programs on other operating systems such as Windows and OS X, nothing could be further from the truth.

The problem is that generally it’s a very distribution specific thing, because, well that’s what distributions do. Each system is built with their own version of various system libraries and even though binaries may work across several distributions, they are just as often incompatible. While users can download and install packages themselves, the system is best controlled by a package manager which keeps track of everything. Installing packages manually might by-pass the manager, making the system inconsistent. Therefore, most packages are managed through a repository; a database of available applications. If an application the user wants is not available in an official repository, there are hundreds of extras available on-line. If a user can find an appropriate binary for their system, package managers can install it along with any required dependencies automatically - so long as they are available in the repository.

But why are package managers so important?

rest here




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