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24-Jun-2020 01:48

Packages contain metadata, such as the software's name, description of its purpose, version number, vendor, checksum, and a list of dependencies necessary for the software to run properly.

Upon installation, metadata is stored in a local package database.

A software package is an archive file containing a computer program as well as necessary metadata for its deployment.

The computer program can be in source code that has to be compiled and built first.

For distributions based on and files as well as Slackware Linux, there is Check Install, and for recipe-based systems such as Gentoo Linux and hybrid systems such as Arch Linux, it is possible to write a recipe first, which then ensures that the package fits into the local package database.

Particularly troublesome with software upgrades are upgrades of configuration files.

Problems can be caused if the format of configuration files changes; for instance, if the old configuration file does not explicitly disable new options that should be disabled.

Some package managers, such as Debian's dpkg, allow configuration during installation.

There are tools available to ensure that locally compiled packages are integrated with the package management.On Microsoft Windows systems, this is also called "DLL hell" when working with dynamically linked libraries. The Framework system from OPENSTEP was an attempt at solving this issue, by allowing multiple versions of libraries to be installed simultaneously, and for software packages to specify which version they were linked against.System administrators may install and maintain software using tools other than package management software.To give users more control over the kinds of software that they are allowing to be installed on their system (and sometimes due to legal or convenience reasons on the distributors' side), software is often downloaded from a number of software repositories.

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When a user interacts with the package management software to bring about an upgrade, it is customary to present the user with the list of things to be done (usually the list of packages to be upgraded, and possibly giving the old and new version numbers), and allow the user to either accept the upgrade in bulk, or select individual packages for upgrades.

Many package managers can be configured to never upgrade certain packages, or to upgrade them only when critical vulnerabilities or instabilities are found in the previous version, as defined by the packager of the software. For instance: in which all packages that depend on the target package and all packages that only the target package depends on, are also removed.