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RPM and bin  RSS feed

 
Hussein Baghdadi
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Hi all.
Applications for Linux platform come in two flavors :
RPM in self-extracting file (rpm.bin) and self-extracting file (bin).
what is the difference between them ?
thanks.
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Hi John,

While the names you're using for your categories aren't really accurate, there really are two broad categories, and your example filenames fit into the two different ones.

Modern Linux systems always include some kind of "package manager." A package manager keeps track of installed software and all the files that make up each thing you have installed. The package manager generally includes an installer and uninstaller, a query mechanism, an update mechanism, possibly an automated network-based one. The package manager often has a nice GUI interface for managing your installed software.

One of the most common package manager is the RedHat Package Manager, or RPM. A .rpm file is a piece of software set up to be installed and managed by the RPM. Quite a few popular distributions (RedHat, Mandrake, and SuSE) are RPM-based. There are also other common package formats, notably the .deb files used by Debian.

But it's also possible to just copy a bunch of files onto your system without going through a package manager. The disadvantage here is that the package manager doesn't know about this new application, so it can't be uninstalled or updated via the package manager. The advantage is that the software can be installed on systems that use different package managers -- if you distribute an .rpm file, then users with .deb-based systems will be out of luck.

So the two categories of Linux software are packaged and unpackaged software. An RPM file is an example of the first category, and Sun's j2sdk-1.5.0.bin is an example of the latter.
 
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