Selection of packages

Debian contains more than 20,000 binary packages, and this number is constantly increasing. There is no single user who needs all these packages. To specify packages of one's particular interest, several options are provided by Debian:


\begin{description*}
\item[tasksel] Provision of a reasonable software selection...
...ages and to display detailed information about each
package.
\end{description*}

In addition to its 13 officially supported architectures, there are ports to even more hardware architectures and operating system kernels. Moreover, Debian package management and distribution infrastructure has been adopted to other operating systems lacking a built-in equivalent, i.e. Fink on Mac OS X (fink.sourceforge.net ).

A distribution is a collection of software packages. There are general distributions, which do not have a specific target user group and try to provide a universal coverage, and there are several specialised distributions targeting specific groups of users.

Distributors are those companies or organisations that are building these collections of software. Since the software provided by GNU/Linux distributions is Free, the user purchasing a copy of the distribution pays for the service that the distributor is providing. These services might be:
\begin{itemize*}
\item Preparing a collection of the software for the target do...
...rinted documentation.
\item Offering training and qualification.
\end{itemize*}

Andreas Tille 2010-12-10