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Linux server dependencies


Question: What are dependencies in Linux and how do I manage them?

Answer: In any operating system, an program requires other programs, drivers, and libraries of files to run. The program depends on those files, so they are called dependencies. Many commercial vendors will packages the dependencies in the installation files of the software, but this can create duplicates and also leave behind unnecessary clutter when the program is uninstalled.

The Linux method of dealing with dependencies is to let the system administrator decide how to handle them. Therefore, if you try to install a single Linux package, either from source or binary, it will require certain other packages to be already installed and configured. If they are not, the program will not be able to run and usually will not even install.

Package managers such as YUM and APT are therefore critical in a production server environment. These systems automatically find necessary dependencies for packages and install them before installing the package. As a result, your programs install and work immediately without any user intervention.

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