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Updating Your Linux Server - How to Update Linux Workstations and Operating Systems

Written by Administrator. Posted in Linux Administration

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Like any other software, an operating system needs to be updated. Updates are required not only because of the new hardware coming into the market, but also for improving the overall performance and taking care of security issues.

Updates are usually done in two distinct ways. One is called the incremental update, and the other is the major update. In the incremental updates, components of the operating system undergo minor modifications. Such modifications are usually informed to users over the net. Users can download and install the modifications serially using the update managing software.

However, some major modifications require so many changes involving several packages simultaneously, it becomes rather complicated to accomplish serially over the net. This type of modification is best done by a fresh installation, after acquiring the improved version of the operating system.

Package management is one of the most distinctive features distinguishing major Linux distributions. Major projects offer a graphical user interface where users can select a package and install it with a mouse click. These programs are front-ends to the low-level utilities to manage the tasks associated with installing packages on a Linux system. Although many desktop Linux users feel comfortable installing packages through these GUI tools, the command-line package management offers two excellent features not available in any graphical package management utility, and that is power and speed.

The Linux world is sharply divided into three major groups, each swearing by the type of package management they use - the “RPM” group, the “DEB” group and the “Slackware” group. There are other fragment groups using different package management types, but they are insignificantly minor in comparison. Among the three groups, RPM and DEB are by far the most popular and several other groups have been derived from them. Some of the Linux distributions that handle these package managements are:

RPM - RedHat Enterprise/Fedora/CentOS/OpenSUSE/Mandriva, etc.

DEB - Debian/Ubuntu/Mint/Knoppix, etc. 

 

RPM - RedHat Package Manager

Although RPM was originally used by RedHat, this package management is handled by different types of package management tools specific to each Linux distribution. While OpenSUSE uses the “zypp” package management utility, RedHat Enterprise Linux (REL), Fedora and CentOS use “yum”, and Mandriva and Mageia use “urpmi”.

Therefore, if you are an OpenSUSE user, you will use the following commands:

For updating your package list: zypper refresh

For upgrading your system: zypper update

For installing new software pkg: zypper install pkg (from package repository)

For installing new software pkg: zypper install pkg  (from package file)

For updating existing software pkg: zypper update -t package pkg

For removing unwanted software pkg: zypper remove pkg

For listing installed packages: zypper search -ls

For searching by file name: zypper wp file

For searching by pattern: zypper search -t pattern pattern

For searching by package name pkg: zypper search pkg

For listing repositories: zypper repos

For adding a repository: zypper addrepo pathname

For removing a repository: zypper removerepo name

 

If you are a Fedora or CentOS user, you will be using the following commands:

For updating your package list: yum check-update

For upgrading your system: yum update

For installing new software pkg: yum install pkg (from package repository)

For installing new software pkg: yum localinstall pkg (from package file)

For updating existing software pkg: yum update pkg

For removing unwanted software pkg: yum erase pkg

For listing installed packages: rpm -qa

For searching by file name: yum provides file

For searching by pattern: yum search pattern

For searching by package name pkg: yum list pkg

For listing repositories: yum repolist

For adding a repository: (add repo to /etc/yum.repos.d/)

For removing a repository: (remove repo from /etc/yum.repos.d/)

 

You may be a Mandriva or Mageia user, in which case, the commands you will use will be:

For updating your package list: urpmi update -a

For upgrading your system: urpmi --auto-select

For installing new software pkg: urpmi pkg (from package repository)

For installing new software pkg: urpmi pkg (from package file)

For updating existing software pkg: urpmi pkg

For removing unwanted software pkg: urpme pkg

For listing installed packages: rpm -qa

For searching by file name: urpmf file

For searching by pattern: urpmq --fuzzy pattern

For searching by package name pkg: urpmq pkg

For listing repositories: urpmq --list-media

For adding a repository: urpmi.addmedia name path

For removing a repository: urpmi.removemedia media


DEB - Debian Package Manager

Debian Package Manager was introduced by Debian and later adopted by all derivatives of Debian - Ubuntu, Mint, Knoppix, etc. This is a relatively simple and standardized set of tools, working across all the Debian derivatives. Therefore, if you use any of the distributions managed by the DEB package manager, you will be using the following commands:

For updating your package list: apt-get update

For upgrading your system: apt-get upgrade

For installing new software pkg: apt-get install pkg (from package repository)

For installing new software pkg: dpkg -i pkg (from package file)

For updating existing software pkg: apt-get install pkg

For removing unwanted software pkg: apt-get remove pkg

For listing installed package: dpkg -l

For searching by file name: apt-file search path

For searching by pattern: apt-cache search pattern

For searching by package name pkg: apt-cache search pkg

For listing repositories: cat /etc/apt/sources.list

For adding a repository: (edit /etc/apt/sources.list)

For removing a repository: (edit /etc/apt/sources.list)

 

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