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Functional difference between the two? Packages different style or what?

I'm dipping my toe in the server pool and playing with an Ubuntu install right now, which is apt-get. I'm also considering FreeBSD and Debian if I do decide to start running my own VPS.

So far things have been very easy, sudo apt-get install apache2 and the like with no issues at all. I'd like to know if there is a different learning curve to yum or variants.

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I asked this question once on superuser ->… . Somebody posted a quite detailed explanation. – Saif Bechan Apr 21 '10 at 8:21
There is also aptitude by the way. I use apt-get and aptitude on debian. I have also a CentOS machine there I use yum, and if there is no yum package I download and install the RPM package. – Saif Bechan Apr 21 '10 at 8:24
from a user point of view the rpm and yum command syntax and management styles are elegant compared to terrible syntax of dpkg and apt-* – Student Nov 11 '14 at 23:06
The above comment is exactly the opinion i was looking for. I want my package util syntax to be clean and understandable, I have had to work with apt-get and found some of the command syntax just... let's say very poorly chosen. upvoted above comment! – Michael Trouw May 1 '15 at 20:20
up vote 5 down vote accepted

They basically do the same, managing software packageges. One handles rpm packages which are the native form on Red Hat, Suse and Mandrake based systems (among others), the other handles deb files used by Debian, Ubuntu and derivatives.

My recommendation: Use the native format, except when you have very special needs. All the security updates etc. are best handled by the platforms native tool, and most users won't need to toy around with more than one tool.

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Okay, just wanted to know if it was something like CVS vs. SVN where one has a distinct advantage over the other. Ten rep to 3k! – Josh K Apr 21 '10 at 7:15

As far as I know, RPM has an advantage in that it tracks dependencies by files included in packages, while Deb does this by package names and versions only. This means that if the new version of a package does not contain a shared library used by some other package, Deb system will install it and break that other package, while RPM-based systems will not install the new version.

On the other hand, RPM does not support OR-dependencies, common in Debs: this-package or that-package.

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