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Up until recently, I tried to stay away from installing stuff manually from tars on my Fedora 16 but the experience I had with Tomcat 7 out of the yum repo changed that. The app was littered with config errors as it came out of the repository. Some packages are clearly better installed and configed manually.

Do you have a personal philosophy on this and guidelines when you use the package manager vs. when you install manually?

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closed as not constructive by Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams, Renan, jw013, ultrasawblade, Stéphane Gimenez Oct 5 '12 at 14:13

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personal question –  maniat1k Oct 5 '12 at 14:02
not necessarily, i asked about concrete guidelines –  amphibient Oct 5 '12 at 14:08
I haven't had a lot of issues using apt-get on Debian. Many times a package requires you to edit the config file before it can be used. It's your system, so if you want/need to download and install something manually, do it. However, you are then responsible for making sure it's updated on your own, so I would only do it when necessary. Most package managers let you create your own packages so you can usually use the same system to deploy custom standardized packages among multiple machines if you wanted (and were willing to put the work into keeping up with it). –  ultrasawblade Oct 5 '12 at 14:14
@ultra: debian not only has good package-management tools, it also has well-defined and documented policies saying how things should and should not be done. the latter tends to discourage maintainers from making mediocre or bad packages. Fedora only has good package-management tools (dpkg and rpm are roughly as good as each other, with some relatively minor pluses and minuses for each)...it doesn't have the strict enforcement of policies. Third-party packages can be even worse, proprietary pkgs are usually awful in my experience. –  cas Oct 5 '12 at 14:32
The (Fedora packaging) policies are enforced when a new package is introduced, but existing packages are expected to maintain them. If you feel that there is an issue with the packaging then you are invited to log a bug in Red Hat's bug tracker. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Oct 5 '12 at 14:51