<email@example.com> Les Mikesell provided the following
terse and coherent explanation for why more sophisticated tools are
nonetheless now desirable:
" Historically, Unix was expensive enough that having an experienced administrator provide the local customization was a fairly small part of the total cost. Now that people are using it on personal machines we need a customization script to step users through the things an administrator might put in /etc/profile or individual .profiles. "
This extends well past profile information; it represents why many people that are highly experienced prefer to install software using RPM over the more traditional "tarballs."
Major classes of tools include: