Linux Group to Simplify Software Installation

The LSB (Linux Standard Base) project and its parent organization, the FSG (Free Standards Group), plan to ease the process, for both users and developers, to install an application on Linux. According to Ian Murdock, CEO of the FSG and chair of the LSB, what Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) want is "to treat Linux as a single platform, which means they want to offer a single package for Linux, much as they do for Windows." To do this, many linux developpers agreed, according to Murdock, that the best real-world solution was to construct "a single API that could be implemented across the various package systems, because APIs make for nice evolutionary steps and can, done right, mask underlying implementation differences."

News source: eWeek

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Linux distros are about choice and freedom. They are presenting the user various ways of doing the same thing and letting the user decide how to make the best of them. You fiddle around with as many of them distros as you want and eventually find something you like and stick with it. This inherently requires sufficient knowledge of software and hardware that is probably above the level of an average casual Windows user. People convert from Windows not because they understand why Linux does things a different way, but because they want Linux to be a free version of Windows, which can never be further from the truth. They just hope for the day when the "Evil Empire" that is Microsoft bows under the popularity of Free Software and there will be free lunch for all, without realizing that these OSes have fundamentally different goals and visions on what their creators are trying to accomplish.

Most popular distros get large numbers of vendor support these days and get pre-made packages for them anyway. There are enough packages out there to satisfy any need within reason (that is, don't come tell me Windows Media support sucks and such), that I don't see the point of being able to pull a package from another distribution because it probably has been ported to the distro you are using already.

If standardization efforts is said to improve uniformity across distros and thus improve quality and produce less user headaches, do tell me why that the distros still have different ways of doing things now. If standardization is the solution to all our troubles, why hasn't anyone taken it seriously over the years that the so-called "standardization" is taking place?

Just a proud Mandrake->Fedora->SuSE->Gentoo user's $.02.

I think this is a terrible idea. I have picked my distro of choice for a reason. I think of different distros as different os's, which they are. They all use the same kernel (or different versions of the linux kernel). If I wanted something spoonfed to me, I would use Windows or Mac. I don't want some application writer thinking they know what I want or need. I want to decide how to install a program and know what installing it will mean to my system. So, someone made a program and decided not to make one for you distro, so what? This happens all the time, there are many Windows apps that are not available for Macs and vice versa.
For all you people complaining about how it is too difficult to install programs in Linux and that is why you won't use it, fine, don't use it. No one is making you use it. If you don't like it, don't use it. Same with me, I won't like this approach and would hope this never happens.
If you want an open source system that is the same, then use a BSD variant. I have decided to use a Linux system and I chose the distro I like.

They're just going to create a standard API. They're not forcing you into anything!

If you don't want to use this, don't. Heck, if you don't want to, don't use any package management :cheeky:

See now its people like you who just like to try and ruin progress. You have this eliteist complex which basically smacks of 'I have figured out how to operate something the long way, so therefore i am above you. DONT ever make it any easier, because then I am still elite and can taunt you from high up on my pedestal'.

Grow up, if you don't like it, then continue downloading the source code and compiling it yourself, and stop whining while the vast majority of the Linux community enjoys moving towards some kind of standards.

In the long run this should be very good for the community. Maybe now there will start to be some of the big players releasing apps for linux now that they will only have to create one installation package.

Dreamweaver on linux anyone?

coldgunner said,
this should help encourage windows > linux converts. this has always been a major put off for newbies.

there's several major put offs. if they fix 'em, linux would be windows competition, but the linux world don't seem to have the business smarts to do it.

If you read the article, it is just about an API to interface to the existing underlying package management system (dpkg, rpm, etc). Nothing revolutionary.

For me, though, I haven't had these problems many of you seem to have. "yum install fluxbox" gets me fluxbox. "yum install celestia" installed celestia. Two exceptions were conky (resource monitor) which was in a different repo: "yum install conky --enablerepo=drpixel" and UT2k4, where I just ran the universal Linux installer they included right on the CD.

This seems to be intended to interface into existing repos (which Open Source software already does). Closed Source software can have a single installer, too. At least there is one on the UT2k4 CD.

Can anyone shed insight into what existing packages or apps, precisely, this is needed for? If it is a "future" closed source app, they can use a method similar to what Epic did for UT.

Other than that, all I see here is a standard interface API that continues to use the existing underlying rpm/dpkg/etc systems.

I hope they simplify cross-distribution compile from source installation too. On any distribution aside from Gentoo (and the derivatives thereof) this is a real pain.

Good news, but it will be a long while before we start seeing it in action, though. They need to remove dependencies while they're at it.

You can't "remove dependencies" just like that. Applications rely on other applications ;-)
It's the same in Windows, OS X and just about any OS.

I understand this about Linux but PC-BSD has pbi packages that work like this. IMO, PC-BSD is about a step ahead of Linux. Check it out.

RTA. A lot of linux distros already have a package/software installation mean of their own (not just PC-BSD), but this time they're trying to write a single API so that ALL distros use the same package managing.

About time.. Software installations is the main reason I've not moved over to Linux. Never could see why the whole installating thing was such a mess. Definately not the sort of thing anyone less than a experienced user can get to grips with easily.

I hope they get it working, it'll go a LONG way towards getting Linux into the mainstream...

good news for us linux fans, but what fubar said is true - easier = popular, popular = viruses.

People dont bother writing viruses for linux because a) its hard, and b) it isnt popular enough (all the noobs use windows ;))

meh the simpler things are to use the more idiots use them , the more idiots use them the more vulnerable the os is just joshing , good news

sort of agree here, I will switch to OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, SkyOS or any other POSIX system if linux will gets too popular.

Soleen said,
sort of agree here, I will switch to OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, SkyOS or any other POSIX system if linux will gets too popular.

Well that just makes 100% no sense unless your just trying to be an elitist. Also anyone who thinks that if more "less tech saavy" people using linux makes the OS less secure is out of their minds. The only way it would make the anything less secure is because those users are more likely to continually run as root, etc, however that does not make the OS more insecure that just means the users computer is insecure