Can anyone explain to me what is a software dependency in Linux? Also how do I know if a program needs dependencies before installing it?

1 Answer 1


Rather than reinvent the wheel when creating an application, developers often rely on existing code to perform some of the application's functions. This can be in the form of libraries of functions that many applications can share, or even whole other applications if the program is something like a GUI front end (just a user interface for another program). The dependencies are those other pieces that the application relies on.

Because these are often shared by other applications and may already exist on the user's computer, they are not automatically downloaded with each application that uses them. That could cause duplication. Instead, the installation program "resolves" the dependencies by looking to see which ones need to be downloaded.

When you install a package (for CentOS the package manager is called 'yum'), it will automatically try to install any dependancies the package specifies.

So to install wget for instance, you would type:

yum install wget

and it would then ask you if you want to install wget and any dependancies that wget might ask for (wget may not have dependancies of course!).

There are also other 'yum' commands to both search and also list dependancies before you install a package - you should research the yum command further in any case before using it.


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