Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 14th Sep 2002 22:44 UTC
SuSE, openSUSE From SuSE Linux 8.1 on, YaST2 comes with a new, powerful package manager. It supersedes the classic YaST2 single package selection and integrates the YaST Online Update (YOU) and post-installation add-on selection at the same time. It lays the foundation for supporting multiple installation sources like a traditional set of SuSE CDs, add-on product CDs, patch CDs, FTP servers or even local directories - all of which may contain software packages to install. Specially optimized versions were implemented for both graphical user interface (the YaST2 Qt UI) or text interface (the YaST2 NCurses UI), providing each type of user with the tool that best fits his needs. Read more for the commentary.
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by Rob on Sun 15th Sep 2002 01:00 UTC

1) Download "Setup.exe"

2) Double-click it

3) Click "Next" -> "Next" -> "Next" -> "OK"

4) Click "Start"

5) Point to the newly-created group under "Programs"
*At this point, WindowsXP will even highlight the new program group for you, with a friendly pop-up tooltip saying "New Programs Are Installed" (which can be turned off, of course)

6) Start your newly-installed program.

This is THE CORE REASON Linux can't stand up to Windows on the average home user's desktop. Business desktops don't often get changed / upgraded / experimented with ... when changes do occur, it's in a controlled way. A home user wants to experiment.

Look at Mandrake and SuSE. They contain pretty much every decent (and not-so-decent) free software app in existence. They package EVERYTHING. And when a new version comes out, the project will put some tarballs on an FTP server somewhere. Maybe you'll get lucky and someone will build some packages not just for your distro but for you VERSION of your distro (since what works on 8.1 might break 8.2 horribly -- which is just stupid). Maybe you won't get lucky. In that case, you either wait for the next version of your distro, or you compile it yourself.

Seriously, if Linux packages were made as easy to install and upgrade as Windows packages, what would a distribution BE? The whole point of a distro is to basically provide EVERYTHING ... the minute you step outside the bounds of the software included by the people who made your distro, you're on your own. Imagine, if you could go to some project's site and grab a "Setup.rpm" or "Setup.deb" that worked on ANY distro running the proper version of the kernal and glibc?

In that case, what would you really be paying the distro-maker for? Distro-makers, for the most part, are simply package maintainers. Given a packaging system that didn't require everything you ever expect the user to need be built into the OS, what need of the distro-makers at all? Pretty much every distro that wants to be is now absurdly easy to install. There are plenty of decent GPL'd config tools (from, say, Red Hat and Mandrake). As long as we need the distro-makers to package things for us, they'll be around.

So why would they WANT to fix the problem? They aren't WORKING on a solution -- they are the band-aid, after all. Heal the wound and you no longer need a band-aid at all ...