Distros and Package Managers

Started by raymac46, April 10, 2022, 02:06:50 PM

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If you are new to Linux, and you visit a site like Distrowatch, you'll be dizzied by the number of available distros you can download and install. One way you can simplify matters is to group them by the Package Manager they use. What is that?
Well, unlike Windows, the software for Linux is generally not downloaded from sites on the Internet. Most distros have a "repository" ot two where the software like office suites, music players, browsers etc is kept. To download the software you use a package manager which may be used with a graphical front end, or through the Terminal/Command Line Interface. Some of the major package manager systems are discussed here:
APT - this one is used by the "Debian-based" distros - Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, MX-Linux and many more. It is quite fast and efficient.
RPM - this is the Red Hat based package manager and is used by Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS, Mageia, SUSE among others. It's in my view a bit harder to use but that's because I am probably not as familiar with it.
pacman - this is the Arch Linux package manager and I think it's great. It's mostly used in the Terminal, but don't let that deter you. Distros that use it include Arch, Manjaro, EndeavourOS.
slackpkg - This is used with the Slackware distro. I am not that familiar with it, but Slackware users seem quite happy with it.
Now my advice when starting out is to choose a particular class of distro based on package manager and stick with it until you are comfortable. I began with Ubunti which was an APT system. Later on I got into Arch so I learned about pacman.