Unix, Windows, Linux administrators need to be familiar with the different packaging formats used with their operating systems. All of these formats can be found in our Linux course. Candidates for sysadmin certification are typically tested on the relevant formats during the certification exam.
CompTIA Linux+ exam system operation and maintenance section asks candidates to describe how they would install, configure, update, and remove software using different package types.
What is a Package Format?
When multiple files, such as those needed for software installation, need to be distributed, package formats are used. Packages are used to combine all required data files (both pre-compiled binaries as well as source, data, or text files) into one archive. Packages can also be created to allow for backup storage and portability. The package will contain information such as the name of the software, its purpose, version number, aswell as any operating systems and requirements for the target environment. This information, also known as a manifest of dependencies by Linux software developers, is used to guide sysadmins on what is required for the software to work correctly on their Linux version.
Packages are designed to work with a specific package manager. This software is used by the sysadmins to unpack and prepare the Linux software for installation and operation. Although all package managers perform the same basic functions, each one has its own user interface and internal workings. Red Hat and Debian are two examples of Linux distributions that have their own package managers.
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You can still start training Debian’s Alien command line utility allows sysadmins convert between formats, and some package managers can work with multiple packaging formats.
CompTIA Linux+ Certification Covers Packaging Formats
There are many Linux packaging formats. However, the CompTIA Linux+ exam objectives only include five. Let’s take a look at these formats and find out when and why they are used. These are the five packaging formats:
RPM packages (.rpm).
Debian packages (.deb).
TAR archives (.tar).
TGZ archives (.tgz).
GZip Archives (.gz)
RPM Packages (.rpm).
One of the most popular Linux packaging formats is the.rpm format. The Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) originally developed the.rpm format for Red Hat Linux distribution. This format is also used in other Linux distributions, such as OpenSUSE, and was chosen as the packaging format of the Linux Standard Base.
RPM files are used most often to store software binaries. However, they can also be used to store uncompiled source files. RPM packages that contain binaries have a.rpm extension..src.rpm can be used for source packages. The package manager is informed by a tag in the header if the package contains source files or binary files.
Debian Packages (.deb).
This packaging format was created for the Debian Linux distribution. It is the standard packaging format for Debian Linux, and its derivatives like Ubuntu. Each Debian package includes two archive files. One contains control information and the other contains the installable data. These archive files are in.tar format. We will discuss them below.
The DPKG utility is the core building block of Debian package management. It manages the basic functions of installing, unpacking, removing, and installing software from Debian Linux and its derivatives. Sysadmins will not use DPKG directly. They prefer an easier interface, such as the Advanced Package Tool or Aptitude, which sits on top. Moderators can refer to the moderator.