This section covers Package, Package Managers and how to find, install, and remove software for the most popular Linux distributions.


Typically, when you install software in a Linux system you do so with a package.

A package is just a collection of files that make up an application. Additionally a package contains data about the application as well as any steps required to successfully install and remove that application.

The data or metadata is contained within a package can include such information as the description of the application, the version and the list of dependencies or other packages that this particular application needs in order to function.

Package Manager

A package manager is used to install, upgrade, and remove packages. The package manager uses a package's metadata to automatically install any required dependencies.

Package managers keep track of

  • What files belong to what packages?
  • What packages are installed?
  • What versions of those packages are installed?

The most common package manager are RedHat Package Manager (RPM) and Debian Package Manager

RedHat Package Manager (RPM)

RPM stands for RedHat Package Manager . Here is a list of distributions that are based on the RPM package format.

  • RedHat
  • CentOS
  • Fedora
  • Oracle Linux
  • Scientific Linux

The yum command line utility and rpm command are the package management programs for those Linux distributions that use RPM packages.

You can find more information about how to use yum command line utility and rpm from Redhat Package Manager - yum and rpm

Debian Package Manager - APT

Another popular package format is the Debian package format. Here is a list of distributions that are based on the DEB package format.

  • Debian
  • Linux Mint
  • Ubuntu

The Debian base distributions use a package manager called Advanced Packaging Tool (apt) and dpkg command.

You can find more information about how to use apt and dpkg from Debian Package Manager - apt and dpkg

References & Resources

  • N/A