What is the future of package management?

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What is the future of package management?

Postby carltonh on Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:36 pm

My Linux experience/knowledge is limited, but I've read quite a bit on tons of distros and their differences.

Synaptic/APT seems to be the king of package management today, but I wonder about the future? Maybe someone can explain why, but the Debian based distros tend to be locked into systems where upgrading requires a new install, and then still can't be kept up to date. By the time Ubuntu 7.04 comes out with the 2.6.20 kernel, it will already be out of date, and Ubuntu systems won't be able to upgrade till 7.10. (If I understood correctly.)

So I'm just curious what else might become king in the future?

Pacman- Arch Linux's package manager is a bit more complex in a sense, they claim it simpler, but it allows quick rolling distributions of updates, even kernels without reinstallation, and lets their systems have the leading edge of new releases. The problem is that Arch Linux is intentionally opposed to making the distro as a whole simple for beginners. Maybe someone will eventually take the Arch Pacman base and add the GUI goodness of Ubuntu/Mint. Every review of Arch seems to claim it the best Linux ever - because no beginners ever review it or try it. Eventually I'll have to make a partition to try it. I'm not sure I'd even succeed in the installation alone.

Conary - Rpath's package management, also used by Foresight. Seems like it could eventually be better than APT, but per most reviews, not yet.

Klik - maybe the easiest way to run somethings, but not to the exclusion of some all-purpose package management. Supposedly installs and isolates all dependencies together in one place, easy to remove.

CNR - Should be in Ubuntu 7.04 and so maybe Mint 3.0. I guess we will see. Currently an addition, not a replacement for APT.

Installjammer- something else I read about that maybe useful in the future. I didn't read enough to understand it.
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Postby scorp123 on Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:31 pm

You forgot Red Hat's "yum" and OpenSUSE's "smart". :wink:
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Postby carltonh on Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:54 pm

I left them out because I haven't heard of anything about them that may make them better than APT in the future. They seem like mature technologies just slightly less favored than APT with Synaptic.

I haven't heard of Distros switching to RPM, though PCLOS has partly switched toward APT.
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Postby clem on Sat Mar 03, 2007 9:03 pm

I'm not an expert when it comes to that. However, my views on it are not that DEB is better than RPM, but that APT is faster and more suitable than any other RPM based package manager I've tried.

I found the Fedora and SUSE package managers to be flexible and full of great features, however they were slow and not as straight forward.. so they couldn't compete with APT.

Mandrake's package manager is fast but they don't have the same collection of packages that Debian has and I was confused with the way they manage different versions for a same package.

I don't think it actually matters whether the packages are RPMs or DEBs, but more so what the package manager does and how fast and comfortable it is to use it and configure it.

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Postby scorp123 on Sun Mar 04, 2007 2:33 am

carltonh wrote:I left them out because I haven't heard of anything about them that may make them better than APT in the future.
SuSE's "smart" can handle many many repo types: yum, apt, YasT, rpm, deb .... It's just a matter of configuring it. The syntax of the "smart" command is similar enough to "apt" (e.g. "smart update", "smart install packagename", etc.) so it's not that hard to switch to it if you have to. "smart -gui" is very similar to "synaptic". And "smart" is not that slow. My repo list here is huge and I am quite satisfied with the speed. Although I have to admit it isn't as fast as "apt" it's not that bad ...

Clem is right about "yum", e.g. on Fedora: It's sloooooow.

EDIT: What about Gentoo? Gentoo and "emerge" rock :D
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Postby mumbo719 on Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:00 am

Loaded up Foresight Linux last night to try the rpath package manager. It has potential as a package manager but it is not nearly as intuitive and user friendly as APT/Synaptic. in fact I found the whole web configuration/upgrade stuff a bit of a pain in the rear end.

Tried YUM, didn't like it at all. Even with the YUMEX GUI that has been getting a lot of attention lately.

Tried PCLOS which is RPM & APT/Synaptic, they suffer from slow DL's too.

MEPIS is better (IMO) than Kubuntu and uses DEB and Synaptic but I am not a fan of KDE. If I was a KDE fan I would use the Mint version.

Clem, you going to call it K-Mint? :D
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Postby clem on Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:22 am

No.. we'll just call it "Bianca - KDE Edition". :)
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Postby hairy_Palms on Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:37 am

i much prefer DEB to RPM simply because, whether its Yast, Smart, Yum, rpmdrake, urpmi, there all so goddamn SLOW compared to deb.
klik is pretty much the easiest thing in theory.
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