Best Linux package managers for Linux newbies

Linux, being an open-source operating system, is a popular choice amongst people. There are a variety of distribution systems available for Linux each differentiated by its package managers. Let’s first understand what the main role of a package manager is.

In the simplest sense, a package manager is a tool that felicitates the installation, up-gradation, configuration, removal, and management of software on a Linux operating system. Therefore, it becomes important to choose the best package manager for your Linux system to get the smoothest experience.

If you are a student and if you use Linux, this article is specifically helpful for you. We are going to talk about some of the best Linux package managers for newbies. Also, if you have a lot of coursework, you can buy essays for college here, save some money and time, and focus on mastering Linux.

DPKG 

DPKG is short for Debian Package and is a low-level package manager used most commonly by people. It is often used in the background to carry on commands by other package managers, such as APT.

It is mostly used to install, manage and remove Debian packages. One of the most common drawbacks of DPKG is that it is unable to carry on automatic downloading and installation from repositories, which creates an issue when the users want their files to be upgraded automatically.

APT

It stands for Advanced Packaging Tool. It was developed by Ubuntu Foundation and is an open-source package manager for Debian-based distribution systems, such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Although, if you wish to explore more about Ubuntu in detail and need a paper to understand it in layman language, you can easily check for the killer papers discount code and help yourself.

Coming back to APT, it acts as a front end for the DPKG package and thus gives commands to DPKG for carrying out basic tasks in the backend, but uses its own software for downloading and management of packages.

It is considered a great package manager for beginners since it offers a basic understanding of packaging manager tools. APT offers a variety of GUIs to choose from and provides the flexibility to choose one according to your choice instead of forcing any GUI upon you. It is one of the most preferred package managers for beginners. 

The most used APT command tool is apt-get. It is used for installation, up-gradation, or removal of software packages. The best thing about this tool is that the whole OS can be upgraded using this command tool. 

Aptitude Package Manager

It is another front-end package management tool, initially designed for Debian operating systems and their derivatives. Now, it is also relevant for RHEL based operating systems.  

It is found to be quite similar to APT and you can choose the one according to your needs between the two by testing out both the package managers.

Some features of Aptitude manager that distinguish it from APT are safety upgrades, to allow for upgrades without affecting the existing data and package holding, which prevents certain specified packages from getting updated automatically. Some call Aptitude the higher-level cousin of APT due to these features. 

If you wish to not use a command line-based manager, you might want to try Synaptic Package manager. It is a GUI package management tool and can be used in place of the apt-get command-line tool. 

RPM (Red Hat Package Manager)

This is an open-source package manager developed by Red Hat and is used on Red Hat based systems, such as CentOS, RHEL, Fedora, etc. 

It allows users to install, update, query, uninstall, verify, or manage system software packages in Linux. However, it is unable to manage or install packages directly from the internet. 

YUM (Yellowdog Updater, Modified) and DNF (Dandified Yum) are some of the popular command-line package managers for RPM-based systems. While YUM uses RPM files to unlock a lot of functions, DNF is an advanced modified version of YUM.

Pacman Package Manager

If you are using distributions such as Arch Linux, you should go for Pacman manager. Arch Linux is a rolling release OS. Pacman uses a combination of a simple binary package format and an easy-to-use build system. It is considered quite a streamlined package manager, simple yet doesn’t fail to maintain its depth.

One of the distinguishing features of Pacman manager is that it will keep your system updated as it synchronizes packages lists with the master server and will also connect to the internet to acquire packages from there.

It uses tools like makepkg, RCMP, etc, and has different types of GUIs available. One of the drawbacks of Pacman is that it cannot install files from third-party repositories.

Zypper Package Manager

It is a type of command-line package manager useful for installing, removing, and updating packages. It also has a utility for managing repositories and resolution of dependency issues. The biggest advantage of using Zypper is that it is faster and light on resources.

It is also suitable for use with servers and remote machines. It works for OpenSUSE Linux and uses the Libzypp library. 

Portage Package Manager

It is one of the most efficient package managers for Gentoo. It works for the installation and management of packages. This manager is also used by Chrome OS, Calculate, Sabayon, and Funtoo Linux among many others.

Some of the distinguished functionalities of this package manager include backward compatibility, automation, and many more.

ABS Package Builder

ABS stands for Arch Build System. As the name suggests, it is for Arch Linux-based systems. It has been developed to create installable software packages out of the source code. 

One distinguishable feature of ABS package builder is that it customizes existing packages. It can also build or install the existing kernel. However, this package manager builds files instead of using pre-compiled packages which makes it a lesser user-friendly interface.

Conclusion

Being a beginner at something as technical as Linux can be overwhelming. One may want to make a wise decision and pick the package manager that one finds most convenient and simple. 

You must have seen new alternatives to packages being introduced in the market, but nothing beats the supremacy of having a package manager. And they are not going to be out of the market for quite some time, so it is better to get yourself acquainted with these managers.

Bio: Adri is a computer application graduate and a content writer. Her niche is technical writing and she comes up with great ways to explain technical content with ease to a layperson. She aspires to write her book someday.

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