Thursday, May 08, 2008

Linux dependencies make me hurt

In Windows when you decide to install something new, you look at the box/case/website of the software and read the system requirements, and if you've got those then 99% of the time things go smoothly when doing an installation.

However every time I try to install something on my Linux machine I get a dependency error - one or numerous small files are missing - and they have to be installed before I can add in the software I've been trying to get to use.

Unfortunately what the Linux advocates don't tell you is that because of the differing release schedules and different rates of development every program requires a different version of the programs which the program I am trying to install is dependent on.

If that is unclear let me also add that if you upgrade (or downgrade) the dependency program so that the software you are trying to install will work, this then registers to all the existing software on your computer using that dependency that it is no longer installed! GAH!

So basically to install one new program, I need to upgrade my entire operating system. It is because of issues like this that Linux is unnecessarily difficult to live with. Perhaps some clever genius could come up with a solution and save all Linux users a lot of time and stress!

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2 Comments:

At Friday, 09 May, 2008, Blogger kozmcrae said...

"Perhaps some clever genius could come up with a solution and save all Linux users a lot of time and stress!"

You're in luck, someone has. Although I don't know who the clever genius is, he/she has made life a lot easier for us. It's called the package management system. It's been around for a long long time. I'm surprised you haven't heard of it. You access it through your distribution's Package Manager. There are several, like Synaptic which is what I use. The package manager with your distribution's carefully tended to repositories take care of all the dependencies on your system. You will never see a dependency error again.

You know this has been around a long time. Even newbies never get dependency errors. How long have you been using Linux?

 
At Sunday, 11 May, 2008, Blogger caesar said...

@ Kozmcrae - I'm running SUSE and it comes with Yast package manager installed. However I am talking about errors that occur even with such a system - for example if I want to install a new program not included with my distro that requires different versions of a file than the one installed which is used by other programs, this creates a dependency error.

Admittedly this is more of a problem for people who don't update their system regularly.

As for my linux expertise - I've been playing with it for about 3 years - but only really used it as a desktop system.

All the best,

Caesar

 

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