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I noticed that package managers won't install things if they know that another package manager is open. So I was wondering if it's OK to install multiple things at the same time when using the terminal.

For example, if I type "make install" in one terminal, while that's going on, is it ok to type "sudo apt-get install package" in another terminal?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Only one program (GUI or not) can use the package manager at a time. However, make install does not use the package manager. It just runs the install target of the Makefile, which typically just copies files and sets permissions.

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Running both at the same time might still introduce inconsistencies since ./configure finds another system than make. – Benjamin Bannier Jul 30 '10 at 6:18
Also keep in mind your package manager will not be aware of anything you build separately so will not be able to use it as a dependency... Unless you build a package instead of make install-ing - checkinstall can make this easy in many cases: – John Barrett Jul 30 '10 at 7:07
By the way, the reason (well, a reason) that you can't/shouldn't run more than one instance of the package manager at a time is that it checks dependencies, and it needs to know that the information it gathers at the beginning about which dependencies are installed and which aren't remains valid while the packages are being installed. make install doesn't do any dependency checks so it doesn't have that issue. – David Z Jul 30 '10 at 7:50
Note that you can specify more than one package at a time: sudo apt-get install package1 package2 package3 – Dennis Williamson Jul 30 '10 at 8:51
@honk, that's a valid point. You have to take care not to modify related parts of the system at the same time. And checkinstall is useful if you want the package manager to be aware of what make install does. – Matthew Flaschen Jul 30 '10 at 20:40

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