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I'm a big fan of macports, homebrew, apt-get and even

But many of my favorite apps which are available through Sourceforge or Google Code require manual unzipping, configuring, building, moving etc. etc.

Is there some obvious reason that these great project repositories don't have package management systems?

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closed as not constructive by grawity, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Nifle, ChrisF, Sathya Jan 30 '12 at 6:11

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Most of the projects hosted on such sites are aimed at Linux, where a distribution has one package management system (such as apt on Debian/Ubuntu, pacman on Arch). Introducing a second, third, fourth package manager would cause confusion at least, and likely even conflicts. (For example: What happens when you try to install a program from MacPorts, but it has already been installed from Homebrew? Ugly things may happen.)

These distributions also have their own rules on packaging – configure options, locations of certain files, the package format itself; for example, Debian splits many programs into "main", "dev", "dbg" packages, while Arch does not. To build a single package for all distributions, one would have to conform to a logically impossible set of rules; hence each distribution maintains its own repositories.

Unofficial extra repositories do exist – many projects hosted on Launchpad have a PPA with packages built for Ubuntu; Arch Linux has an user-maintained AUR; finally, even Mac OS X has MacPorts and Homebrew :) However, all of them are similar in that they are specific to the operating system, but never to a website.

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