Linux Tutorial Series

Linux Tutorial Series – 129 – Package management

Here is the video version, if you prefer it:

Let’s talk about package management today. What is package management and why do we need it?

Let’s start with why do we need it. We need it because packages are a convenient way to deliver software – we deliver software like a package. Package management is a term for installing, modifying and removing packages. The alternative to installing software from a package is to install the software from source, but that is for another article.

Different Linux distributions use different packaging systems. (Shotts, 2019) A package consists of files that contain the software we are installing. Packages are available in repositories. Each distribution has its own repository with packages. If a software depends on something to run (such as an external piece of code to calculate something), then we say that that external piece of code is a dependency. Package managers (programs that manage packages) take care of dependencies when installing packages.

There are high-level package management tools (such as apt and apt-get in Debian-like distributions) and low-level package management tools (such as dpkg in Debian-like distributions). We will use those to manage our packages.

Hope you learned something new!

A caveat: In the following articles I will cover package management operations (installing, removing, …) using package manager that is used in Debian and Debian-like Linux distributions. I won’t cover other distributions. In case you have another distribution, I suggest using Google to find the equivalent commands.


Shotts, W. (2019). The Linux Command Line, Fifth Internet Edition. Retrieved from Pages 196-199