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Most unix variants come with tools to install software packages, list installed packages, upgrade them, remove them and other maintenance tasks. Many variants have two sets of tools:

  • a low-level tool for maintaining the packages installed on a machine (install a package file, list the files belonging to an installed package, list the installed packages, …);
  • a high-level tool for downloading new or upgraded packages (download and install a package and its dependencies, upgrade all packages, …).

Package management tools

  • APT, the Debian high-level package management suite, over Dpkg (and ported to other low-level packagers), also used by other distributions such as Ubuntu
    • An APT-based package manager with both a command line and a full-screen text mode interface
  • The Debian low-level package manager, also used by other distributions such as Ubuntu
  • A low-level package manager originally developped by Red Hat, now used by many distributions including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Fedora, SuSE, …
  • YaST, the setup tool, includes the functionality of high-level package management tools
  • A high-level package manager over RPM, originally from Yellowdog Linux, used by many RPM-based distributions including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS and Fedora
  • Zypper, the SuSE high-level command-line packaging tool, and the underlying engine ZYpp

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Further reading

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