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Repositories and packages

asked 2018-12-20 00:45:17 -0500

How repositories and packages are important to fedora linux system.

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Your question is quite broad. There is a great discussion here - . Alternatively try LFS and you will rapidly see the advantages

Panther gravatar imagePanther ( 2018-12-20 10:38:49 -0500 )edit

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answered 2018-12-20 02:33:29 -0500

Night Romantic gravatar image

updated 2018-12-20 02:37:58 -0500

The question is quite complex and can't be answered in a couple of words (I think). Here's my brief overview from my standpoint as a casual user. I'll touch some point that come first to my mind, but they are just the top of the iceberg, not the complete explanation. You'll have to do a bit of research if you want more, or maybe someone can provide short and full answer that eludes me ;-)

Well, I'd say that packages/repositories system is one of the (quite a few) strongest points of a Linux distribution (any, not just Fedora).

Central repositories provide software that are

  • curated by package maintainers;

  • protected from malicious modifications to reasonable degree;

  • tested (again, to reasonable degree);

  • ready to use and preconfigured in many cases;

  • easy to find, update, install and remove.

So users get a reasonable degree of protection from malicious software or malicious modification of software and also gret deal of ease of use. They don't have to search Internet for random software sources, download it from dubious places, compile, patch it themselves, look if there are important updates to it. It's all in one place, ready to use and updated automatically when needed.

Packages with dependencies system itself allows to divide complex programs (which our os is composed of) into smaller manageable parts. By making sure commonly used libraries are put into their own packages and then used by other packages we ensure that our system don't have multiple copies of the same libraries. Basically this is the way to avoid famous "DLL hell" problem windows used to have.

And if the library found to have some defect you have to update just that one package, not all the software that depends on it (well, some types of defects will require to update depending software, but not all).

This also makes it much more easy to manage and maintain for Fedora developers.

I also need to mention that this packages/repos system has some shortcomings, such as (but not limited to):

  • packages are specific to one distribution, they are not universal;

  • it's not easy for casual user (or even developer) to package their software for every distribution;

  • not all the software is packaged for every distribution;

  • it's not always easy to have several version of one program packaged and available for use (Fedora Modularity project tries to solve this one).

Projects like Flatpak, Snaps by Ubuntu, AppImage try to resolve these problems by offering the alternative, that can complement traditional packaging system and coexist with it.

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Asked: 2018-12-20 00:45:17 -0500

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Last updated: Dec 20 '18