Software-System Distribution

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A Software-System Distribution is an software system that is released to system customers.



    • A software package is a software that has been built from source with one of the available package management systems (PMS).[1] The package is typically provided as compiled code, with additional meta-information such as a package description, package version, or “dependencies”. The package management system can evaluate this meta-information to allow package searches; to perform automatic upgrades to a newer version; to check that all dependencies of a package are fulfilled and/or to fulfill them automatically by installing missing packages.

      Almost all GNU/Linux distributions are built around, and heavily based upon a package management system and every piece of software available in the online package repositories is packaged into a software package, so that the user can conveniently install, update, downgrade or uninstall them, resulting in a tidy and secure operating system.

      When the version dependency allows for it, libraries are packaged independently and used commonly. This introduces something called “dependency hell", a serious burden upon the distribution maintainers. But it also reduces code duplication inside of the operating system to a minimum, and at the same time multiplies the possibilities to test the version of a library for stability and security flaws. Thus, the existence of a package management system results in GNU/Linux distributions being relatively smaller in size compared to operating systems which do not have a package management system. In conjunction with the general advantages and benefits of free software this also results in better overall security and quality, as long as there is an active user population. An active user population means, the the end-users are not mere "dumb consumers", but actively participate in the further development of the software they are using, by bothering to write bug reports in case they encounter any, and but also feature requests.


    • What is a software package? It has two meanings
      1. 1)A special method of distributing and installing software (or software upgrates) to a computer. For example, on a Macintosh computer, a package usually means "software." It's specifically a directory , presented as a single file, that contains all the information the Mac OS X Installer application needs to install your software. That includes the software itself, as well as files that are used only during the installation process. In a Windows environment it is sometimes called an installation package or update package.
      2. 2) Multiple software programs that work together (or performs similar functions) and is bundled and sold together as a software package.


    • … A collection of software, also referred to as a distribution, or a distro, which is set of software components built, assembled and configured so that it can be used essentially "as is" for its intended purpose.

      Software distribution is often the closest thing to turnkey form of free software. It may take the form of a binary distribution, with an executable installer which can be downloaded from the Internet. Examples range from whole operating system distributions to server and interpreter distributions (for example WAMP installers). Software distribution can also refer to careware and donateware.

      In recent years, the term has come to refer to nearly any "finished" software (i.e. something that is more or less ready for its intended use, whether as a complete system or a component of a larger system) that is assembled primarily from open source components.


  • (WordNet, 2009) ⇒
    • S: (n) software, software program, computer software, software system, software package, package ((computer science) written programs or procedures or rules and associated documentation pertaining to the operation of a computer system and that are stored in read/write memory) "the market for software is expected to expand"
    • S: (n) software package, software product (merchandise consisting of a computer program that is offered for sale)
    • 1. (computing) A suite of programs that functions as a single entity to accomplish a task, or group of related tasks.

  1. Ludovic Courtès, Functional Package Management with Guix, June 2013, Madrid, European Lisp Symposium 2013 ;