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I fully understand for what purpose I need a package-management system like yum or apt:

To create a stable system. It is perfect or a server, however, on desktop machines I think it would be much easier for Unix beginners to install complete setups like windows setups (the famous setup.exe).

The advantages:

  • You can install painlessly multiple versions of same program
  • No dependency problems, as the package has everything it needs
  • simple removement: just delete the folder

The only problem I see is harddisk space, but today this is negligible.

A simple example:

XAMPP on windows installs a fixed Version of apache php mysql perl and other tools in a single folder. You just can move it, remove it, install an lder version next to it.

So why is there no standard Setup format for Linux which I can download, run and it just has all dependencies I need and they will be installed in a single folder?

Note that I do not dismiss package management, I want to have both alternatives, but I assume there must be a serious problem with this single setup approach, but I cannot see it..

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closed as not constructive by BinaryMisfit Oct 30 '09 at 14:03

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a) Community wiki b) apt is 100x easier than installing in Windows – djhowell Oct 29 '09 at 18:38
Avoid asking questions that are subjective, argumentative, or require extended discussion. This is not a discussion board, this is a place for questions that can be answered! – BinaryMisfit Oct 30 '09 at 14:04

Because package management is so much better.

Don't have firefox? sudo apt-get install firefox

What about a text editor? apt-get search text editor

New version of... I dunno, something? sudo apt-get update something

It's a one-stop-shop for application installation, and is certainly less complex than an installer, and it will install dependencies automatically.

If you really want a setup.exe style installer you could use a script that just calls apt-get? :P

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I understand the advantages, but for "superuser"-requirements But try to install two versions of firefox (say FF3.5 and FF2.x) This is very difficult on package management and very easy on Windows – Peter Parker Oct 29 '09 at 18:59
Well, at that point you'd download the binaries or source of the older version and just run it - like you would on windows. – Phoshi Oct 29 '09 at 19:10
What about different dependencies? I mean all this package management is about dependencies, try to install Apache 2.2.12 and apache 2.0.59 for legacy support.. It is (at least for me) impossible two use two version parallel. – Peter Parker Oct 30 '09 at 7:33

Do you really remove software on Windows by deleting its folder? Your registry must look like a bloated toad by now ;-) Those de-installers are there for a reason! With a package manager, that too is way easier than on Windows.

Now if I would want to have two versions of the same piece of software, I could always opt to install it by hand (e.g. build it myself). With Linux I get to choose, with Windows I don't.

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Not all programs are using the registry, actually a lot of programs are comming in a "portable mode" (to work from USB-Stick). Also on MacOS it is really deleting the app folder for deinstallation. – Peter Parker Oct 30 '09 at 7:29
No, build a piece of software is not always an option, because of conflicting dependencies and you are required to install an additional build environment. – Peter Parker Oct 30 '09 at 7:32

Maybe you should look at Linux Mint. The short way is to tell you that it's just not the *nix way. Bundling everything easily leads to stagnancy and dependency on outdated versions of libraries, to say nothing of the size of the WinSxS folder (how many copies of the VC2003/5/8 runtimes do you think you have?). It's certainly possible to do it the way you're suggesting (and a lot of packages you install yourself will, in fact, do just that in /usr/local), but the system package manager does not.

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Thanks for this answer. However I have my certain problems with the dependencies. I see this problem with outdated versions on server, however on my client I think there is ometimes need to install older versions and to remove them easily. On MacOS X it is possible in this way and also (i think) the prefered way to do things. Just to make my question clear? Is it possible to provide applications with all dependencies on linux? – Peter Parker Oct 30 '09 at 7:37
That is not the preferred way to do things on OSX. Well-behaved applications on OSX keep everything in the .app folder. Far too many spew all over /Library and will screw up your filesystem if you install multiple versions. Installing older versions with most package managers is trivial with the a --root directive (or similar), which will install it pretending that's /. chroot in and go. – phresus Oct 30 '09 at 11:49

You are wrong. Completely. And here is why:

You can install painlessly multiple versions of same program

That would heavily depend on the program. Just try that with IE. And besides: why would you want to?

No dependency problems, as the package has everything it needs

You don't have dependency problems with Linux packages. The package knows what it needs and the package manager knows how to get any dependencies. And on Windows, a package is never self contained because any kind of program heavily depends on the system libraries.

simple removement: just delete the folder

This is horrible nonsense on Windows and on Linux, how difficult is aptitude purge package? Not much I would say.

Here is one point that you forgot: What about updates? On Linux, you have one source for everything and one system update manager that knows about all your packages. On Windows, you have multiple "keep me up-to-date" task tray apps fighting for resources and many, many programs that you will have to update yourself.

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I do not think i am "wrong". It was just a question. How I can be wrong on a question is beyond my understanding. You are right with IE, but I (and MS) think IE is an "OS-component", but I can easily install 3rd party tools from other manufacturers on my windows box. There are a lot of problems with dependencies if you leave "the common way" say just install a more current version(unstable) of PHP, subversion, Apache, whatever. Then the whole dependency tree will break on you starting with updating APR and so on. You are right on updates, but is this the only reason? – Peter Parker Oct 30 '09 at 7:43
You are wrong. Your list of advantages can easily be refuted. "is this the only reason?" The only reason for what? – innaM Oct 30 '09 at 9:22

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