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.

  • 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, 2013 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, 2013 at 16:43
  • yes please h3rrmiller, I'm thinking something that perhaps lets you use a mouse to point and click.
    – Ninjanoel
    Jan 16, 2013 at 16:43
  • jordanm, how many years ago?
    – Ninjanoel
    Jan 16, 2013 at 16:44
  • 2
    The synaptic package manager was released in 2001 according to wikipeida.
    – jordanm
    Jan 16, 2013 at 17:01

3 Answers 3


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.

  • I believe this question was specific to Linux.
    – jordanm
    Jan 16, 2013 at 18:02
  • Except the original question said "unix environments"
    – Tim B
    Jan 16, 2013 at 18:09
  • You are right, the question does say "*nix", while the title explicitly says "linux".
    – jordanm
    Jan 16, 2013 at 18:18
  • fair enough. I read one more carefully than the other.
    – Tim B
    Jan 16, 2013 at 18:30

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".

  • 1
    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, 2013 at 19:57

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

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .