Monday, October 19, 2009

Software Management in Ubuntu

The Ubuntu operating system contains lots of software. Trying to keep track of which applications are installed, which ones can be installed, and which ones you can remove can be a full-time job. Fortunately Ubuntu offers some features that help make software management a little easier. This section walks through the basics of how Ubuntu handles software and shows how to access software for Ubuntu once you’ve installed the basic distribution.

Software Packages
The Ubuntu distribution consists of many different open-source software packages. A package is a self-contained application or a set of related applications that installs as a single component.

Examples of self-contained applications are common programs such as the Firefox web browser, the Evolution email client, and the GIMP image editor. Each of these applications loads as a self-contained package in Ubuntu. You can easily install or remove these applications individually without affecting the operation of your Ubuntu system. Examples of an application set are the office automation suite of applications and the GNOME games package. These packages contain several individual applications that are installed in one package.

Ubuntu packages aren’t limited to applications. Ubuntu also bundles the different operating system elements into packages. The default Ubuntu installation includes packages for the Linux kernel, the GNU utilities used on the command line, and even the command-line shell itself. As you can see, packages are the core of Ubuntu software management. The ability to add new packages to the system and remove old or unused packages makes Ubuntu an extremely versatile operating system. The key is knowing where to find those packages.

Software Repositories
When you install Ubuntu from either the LiveCD or the alternate CD, you’re installing all of the individual packages that make up the system. The installation process copies each package bundled on the LiveCD or alternate CD to the hard drive and installs it in the proper location.

Unfortunately, there’s a limited amount of space on the LiveCD and alternative CD, so Ubuntu can’t include every software package in the default installation. However, if your workstation is connected to the Internet, you can easily retrieve additional software packages from Ubuntu servers for installation. Ubuntu maintains multiple servers that contain software packages for downloading. These servers are called software repositories. Ubuntu maintains different repositories for different applications. You must configure your Ubuntu system to interact with the software repositories you want to use.

If your Ubuntu system doesn’t have Internet connectivity, you can get Ubuntu software package collections on DVDs. You can install software packages and updates directly from the DVDs instead of from a software repository. Check the Ubuntu web site for details on software repository DVDs you can download or purchase.

Source of Information : Wiley Ubuntu Linux Secrets

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