The preferred method for installing software on most GNU/Linux-based operating systems is to use a package manager. The two most commonly-used package managers are:
- APT/dpkg (used on Debian-based systems including Ubuntu and Linux Mint); and
- yum/RPM (used on Red Hat-based systems including Fedora and CentOS).
Given a list of packages for installation, APT or yum first determines what other packages are needed to satisfy any dependencies. It then fetches the required packages from a repository, typically by downloading them over a network. Once that has been done, it invokes dpkg or RPM to unpack the packages and perform any necessary configuration.
Records of installed packages and files are kept so that system-wide upgrades are possible, and so that packages can be removed when they are no longer needed.
- Determine which package a file belongs to (Debian)
- Perform an unattended installation of a Debian package
- Osamu Aoki, Debian Reference (Debian package management)
- Raphaël Hertzog and Roland Mas, The Debian Administrator’s Handbook (Packaging System: Tools and Fundamental Principles)
- apt-get (Ubuntu manpage)
- Eric Foster-Johnson, Stuart Ellis and Ben Cotton, RPM Guide, Fedora Project