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2. Package Management Tools

Linux has provided a fair degree of innovation in the area of "system configuration" and in particularly in terms of providing tools to more easily manage the installation, configuration, and (when needed) deinstallation and/or upgrade of "packages" of software.

The point of the exercise is to improve on traditional "tarballs" where no information is automatically tracked.

Packages are typically comprised of:

Metadata

Information about the package, including such things as its name, the identity of the author, information on who maintains the packaged version of the software, versions, and dependancies.

Scripts

Software used to do any preparation of the package for readiness; this might include installation scripts, configuration scripts, maintenance scripts, and de-installation scripts

Signatures

Information to prove identity; cryptographic signatures for other components to help protect from an adversary modifying the payload along the way.

Payload

The "body" of software and data in the package.

Notable package managers include:

Here are a variety of related links:

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