Linked by Kroc Camen on Thu 1st Oct 2009 21:02 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu We reported earlier on a blog post entitled "Ubuntu Report Card (2009)" where the author detailed how they felt the Ubuntu experience had improved over the years. In a follow-up series of articles looking at the future, Tanner Helland has written 10 different broadly-scoped feature requests that [he] 'and many others would like to see by the time Ubuntu 10.10 rolls around'.
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Yes, definitely. I personally think this is the single greatest issue with Linux. It would be entirely possible to come up with a good standard, cross distro package manager. Unlike most other things, a package manager really can be "one size fits all". It could be used on all distros anywhere from embedded devices to desktops to servers. With a unified package format that actually works, installing software would be much easier for end users (although I think it's not too bad already), and it would be much easier for developers to package software (especially proprietary developers). This would allow proprietary developers to release just one package that would work on all distros with a specific required ABI so it could continue to work after the ABIs of all the libraries change.

The current package management system is heavily biased toward free software developers (which makes sense). I don't like proprietary software, but I understand that programmers need to make a living, and support for proprietary software will be important for the success of Linux as a desktop operating system.

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boldingd Member since:

People have tried it before, and it's consistently failed. It's a nice idea, but I don't think it's going to happen any time in the foreseeable future.

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Zifre Member since:

This is true, but I think there have been two issues with all previous attempts:

1) All previous "universal package managers" (Autopackage, Zero Install, and Klik are the only ones I know of) were lacking features or ease of use. A universal package manager would need to be easy for end users and support multiple versions, advanced dependencies, non-root installation, and installation of both system software (libraries, daemons) and applications. As far as I know, no package manager satisfies these requirements (except possibly GoboLinux's package manager, but that is made specifically for GoboLinux).

2) A universal package manager would need the backing of at least one big distro. If Canonical supported it in Ubuntu, they could probably get most other distros to adopt it, since Ubuntu is by far the most common desktop Linux distro.

It may not be easy, but it would certainly be possible if the desktop Linux community cared enough.

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