Do you want to access or manage one or multiple packages on your desktop Linux? You can do it via command line which is bit complex and not the best route for beginners or you can use graphical package manager tools to achieve the same without going through the hassle of typing commands. This article explains 5 best package managers for new Linux users.
1. Synaptic Package Manager
It is an open source application that let users manage software packages in Debian, Ubuntu and Linux Mint distributions. It provides graphical user interface for the command line APT package management system which allows users to search, install, upgrade, downgrade or simply remove one or more packages from the current installations. It is really powerful software and you can use it even to upgrade an entire operating system. Synaptic allows to you configure packages through the debconf application which further let you to perform system wide configuration tasks.
You can download Synaptic Package Manager from here.
After you complete the installation, launch the software and click on “Origin” in bottom left corner of its panel. Next, select the repository for which you want to display all available packages. If you have to browse through Launchpad PPA repositories, find file names starting with LP-PPA followed by the actual PPA name. The only problem here is that it shows PPA source package multiple time but that’s only how it display these repositories. It doesn’t break any functionality.
2. Red Hat Package Manager
Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) is an open source and popular program that allows users to install, uninstall and manage software packages in Linux. It was developed on the Linux Standard base packing format by RedHat. You can download it from here. The only problem with RPM is its lack of backward compatibility. It is an underlying system so you can use it along with other package manager like YUM or DNF. Dandified YUM or DNF is next generation package manager for the RPM based distributions. With Fedora 18, this is the default package manager.
3. Pacman Package Manager
It is simple package manager for Arch Linux distributions. It allows users to perform basic functionalities like installing, uninstalling, upgrading, downgrading and dependency resolution. The goal of pacman is to provide Arch Linux users with user-friendly interface to manage official or user’s own build repositories.
You can download the package manager from here.
4. Zypper Package Manager
Zypper is command line package manager for OpenSUSE Linux. It uses libzypp library to facilitate common functionalities like repository access, package management and dependencies resolution. it can also handle repository extensions such as patterns, patches and products.
5. Portage Package Manager
It is relatively new and less popular package manager for Gentoo, a Linux distribution but its growing with time. It is simple and hassle free package management system that is also backward compatible.