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I mean it's no problem in Win, but in Linux it's sometimes impossible to install new programs if you didn't update the whole OS. And if you didn't update it for a long time then you have to do several updates in a row which is very time-consuming and sometimes unaffordable. Why can't I update the OS from a several releases older version to the newest. And also often I encounter old programs that require older versions of libs. Why can't I separately install older libs for such cases? I know that there are distros that can solve these problems. But they are unpopular and have too little documentation and packages and too unstable and raw. And why are such distros so raw and unpopular?

closed as unclear what you're asking by strugee, slm, Karlson, Anthon, jasonwryan Apr 17 '14 at 19:39

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • we can't tell you why "such distros" are "raw and unpopular" if we have no idea what distros you're talking about. give an example. and please only ask one question per question. see How to Ask – strugee Apr 17 '14 at 17:46
  • Would it be not constructive enough? I ment such as Gentoo and Arch. I herd they allow installing packages in multiple versions. – user65509 Apr 17 '14 at 17:52
  • not really. you may want to look into what a rolling release distribution is; you appear to have a misguided definition of them. and besides, I would hardly consider Arch "raw and unpopular". Arch has a small market share because it exists to fill a niche that doesn't apply to a lot of people - those who appreciate that niche (like myself) love Arch. and in my experience, package quality is high and Arch has world-class documentation - so good that it's often used by people who use other distributions. – strugee Apr 17 '14 at 18:07
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You ask quite a lot of questions here. You are supposed to ask one question. However...

Why most distros' package managers don't allow the same package in multiple versions

In some cases they do. Eg. Debian allows different versions of Python to be installed simultaneously. In most cases they do not, because it would require extra overhead, some level of technical difficulty, and it is not usually necessary to have multiple versions of a package installed simultaneously. The main issue is that the names of the files will collide, since most packages are not designed to be installed simultaneously in different versions. Therefore such files need to have different paths for each version of the package.

and newest versions without upgrading?

This is unclear. I assume you mean installing newer versions of packages without upgrading the entire OS. Sure you can. Debian has backports, and other distributions presumably have similar concepts. Or you can do a backport yourself.

Why can't I update the OS from a several releases older version to the newest.

Because it is very difficult to support all these different upgrade options. Supporting an upgrade from version n to version n+1 is hard enough.

And also often I encounter old programs that require older versions of libs. Why can't I separately install older libs for such cases?

Sure you can. Who says you can't?

  • I suspected the questions might have connected answers. – user65509 Apr 17 '14 at 17:47

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