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Having a discussion at work with a colleague, and he is claiming graphical installers for *nix environments have only been available for the last few years, but I can't find any solid information on the topic, so I thought I'd ask.

References would be appreciated, but recalling from memory will do for any of you who have been using Linux for years.

Update : Apologies, not installers for Linux, but installers for apps inside of Linux.

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define graphical... the curses based installers are still considered "graphical" but I'm guessing you are referring to the X11/GNOME based installer –  h3rrmiller Jan 16 '13 at 16:42
    
The first Linux distro I used was Fedora core 2, which had anaconda, a graphical installer. Anaconda has been around for a long time, but I am pretty sure the GUI front-end is a later edition (vs the curses front-end). –  jordanm Jan 16 '13 at 16:43
    
yes please h3rrmiller, I'm thinking something that perhaps lets you use a mouse to point and click. –  Ninja Noel Jan 16 '13 at 16:43
    
jordanm, how many years ago? –  Ninja Noel Jan 16 '13 at 16:44
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The synaptic package manager was released in 2001 according to wikipeida. –  jordanm Jan 16 '13 at 17:01

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The synaptic package manager has always been a graphic GTK-based front end for package management. This has existed since November 13, 2001 according to wikipedia. It is likely that this is not the first graphical package manager front-end, but it proves that graphical package managers go back further than "a few years".

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I was fooling around with Red Hat 6.2 lately, and it had a graphical installer already (probaly since a few versions before). Red Hat 6.0 is 1999. –  vonbrand Jan 21 '13 at 19:57

AIX has had SMIT for a long time (along with the command line version smitty)

HP-UX used to have SAM (long deprecated), introduced in 1992, which ran installs through their posix-standardized installation tools. (swinstall, swlist, swcopy, etc..). In addition to the command line, SAM would run them in a gui.

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I believe this question was specific to Linux. –  jordanm Jan 16 '13 at 18:02
    
Except the original question said "unix environments" –  Tim B Jan 16 '13 at 18:09
    
You are right, the question does say "*nix", while the title explicitly says "linux". –  jordanm Jan 16 '13 at 18:18
    
fair enough. I read one more carefully than the other. –  Tim B Jan 16 '13 at 18:30

I remember installing Mandrake 8.0 (now Mandriva) in late August in 2001. The app installer was graphical. I remember it looking more Qt than gtk-based.

According to DistroWatch, Mandrake had graphical installer (both for OS and app) since 7.0, around January 2000

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