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Let's talk about package managers

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、 0001/01/01 —

Let’s talk about by far the most divisive issue of all time among operating systems.
Is it racism? Sexual herASSment? Left wing vs right wing?
Nope, it’s package managers.

Also, I will deliberately exclude the Microshaft Store, the Crapple App Store (both iOS and macOS), the Goolag Play Store, and Steam, because these are more like store fronts rather than package managers.

Linux (native)

Ever since I was a kid, I was already using Linux.
Every time I talked to the DOS or WinDOS peasants about the whole concept of package managers, they looked at me like I came from a different universe or some shit.
Nowadays they’re more aware of it, though they’d call it “App Store”, even if they’re referring to the Goolag’s Play Store or Microshaft’s Store.

aptitute apt-get~ apt and dpkg

The most well know Linux distro, Ubuntu, already comes with lots of confusion out of the box.
Not only does it have 3 entirely different package managers all made by Debian, they also add their own Snapd on top, but more on that later.
To make matters worse, there’s also DPKG which is also made by Debian, although this one is more for off-repo packages (.deb files), a kind of like a mix between a .msi installers on WinDOS and the ports system on BSD.

Anyway, apt is used by all Debian-based distro’s.
And while aptitute, apt-get, and apt are all interchangeable with one other, they’re still separate utilities nonetheless.

yum and dnf and rpm and zypper

There are both lots of Debian-based and Red Hat-based distro’s.
However, unlike Debian which is mostly universal when it comes to package managers, Red Hat is much more fragmented.
Like on CentOS (or AlmaLinux or Rocky Linux, as CentOS is officially dead), you’d use yum.
On Fedora you’d use dnf.
On OpenSUSE you’d use zypper.
Or you’d use Flatpak which is made by Red Hat people, but more on that later.

pacman

Arch

Pamac

Manjaro

portage

Gentoo

xbps-*

Void Linux

pkg

Alpine Linux

Linux (universal)

Those of you who have followed me for at least some time will know that I hate universal package managers.
The promise was to solve the MUH FREGMENTEESHON “problem” on Linux, but instead they added in more bloat, more complication for both the end user and developer, and proprietary soyware.

Flatpak

Made by the well known octopus who has been putting his tenticles into as many distro’s as possible, and by this inflicted quite a lot of damage to the Unix philosophy, called Lennart Pettering, who until recently (supposedly) worked for Red Hat, and now for Microshaft.
His passion for bloat can also be seen in Flatpak, my PinePhone had 2 Flatpak packages without me even knowing it, because I once installed from the Soyware Center application by Gnome (which is being maintained by the same teams as Flatpak and Soystemd, speaking of conspiracies!), and then I got a notification saying that my storage was almost full.
After inspecting with the “du” command, I found out that these 2 applications alone consumed more than a half of the entire 32 GiB NAND.
That’s when I realized that Soyware Center does NOT install anything from the Debian repositories, but from Flathub instead (which is also the first and only time I used Flatpak).
So I uninstalled them, re-installed them via apt, and never opened the Soyware Center ever again (deleting it and/or Flatpak will also delete Phosh, speaking of clown world…).

Snapd

Snapd is basically Canonicals answer to Flatpak.
Comes with the exact same problems as Flatpak, and on top of that it’s proprietary, and only supported by Ubuntu too.
What a lose-lose situation!

BSD

pkg

FreeBSD

pkg_*

OpenBSD

WinDOS and macOS

Even completely prorietary OS’s each have a package manager, although as 3rd party tools, and therefore unsupported by the OS maintainers themselves.

brew

Aka, Homebrew.
This is the main unofficial package manager for macOS, though apparently it’s available for Linux as well, making it a defacto universal package manager too.

choco

Aka, Chocolatey.
Even the least expected OS to have a package manager has one.
I tried it out in a VM, and it works surprisingly well.
You’d still get through installation wizards, but at least you don’t need to worry about using your browser and accidentally clicking an ad instead of the actual download button with this one.

Programming languages

There are package managers specific to programming languages as well.
Although only ever used by soydevs, because a real developer develops own code, and doesn’t use code by others which use code by others which use code by others which use code by others……….

npm and yarn

JavaScript

composer

PHP

gem

Ruby

pip

Python

shard

Crystal

Mobile

Mobile is a bit different, because until now all the package managers are command line based (minus Pamac).
But due to the lack of a terminal, the mobile ones are more like app stores, but still have things like 3rd party repositories you can add to them, so they act more like graphical package managers.

F-Droid

Android

Cydia

iOS