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Thread: Why are there now two package managers?

  1. #1
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    Why are there now two package managers?

    Having just responded in the thread about "12.04 and NFS" made me wonder why there are now two package managers in Ubuntu, the "Package Manager" and the "Software Center".
    I rarely use any GUI client to install software preferring to use apt-get from the command line. When I do want a GUI, I prefer to install synaptic even on my KDE platform. So I never had occasion to examine the differences between the Software Center and Package Manager applications until today.

    Why isn't there just one single Package Manager application any more that includes all packages available to Ubuntu from all official sources? (PPAs are obviously an entirely different matter.) This seems unnecessarily confusing to me and would, I suspect, be even more confusing to a novice user.
    Last edited by SeijiSensei; April 7th, 2012 at 04:48 PM.

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    Re: Why are there now two package managers?

    Dont miss anything even it is small. one small pin is enough to bring down a man.


  3. #3
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    Re: Why are there now two package managers?

    Software Center is for newbies , just introduced to Ubuntu and its name also guides the user the right way I guess .Where Synaptic is more feature riched and provides the same features as the apt-get command line utility with a GUI front-end based on Gtk+.
    Last edited by codemaniac; April 7th, 2012 at 05:22 PM.
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    Re: Why are there now two package managers?

    Your title might have been "why is there now only one package manager?" In Ubuntu, Synaptic and Software Centre (or its predecessor Add/Remove) have co-existed for years. With effect from Oneiric/11.10 only Software Centre of the two come in a default install and you have to install Synaptic (I do) if you want it.
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    Re: Why are there now two package managers?

    Kubuntu 12.04 includes both a "Muon Software Center" and a "Muon Package Manager". The latter is equivalent to the older package managers like synaptic. The "Software Center" application seems to have a very curtailed list of packages available. For instance, in the case of the thread I referenced at the top, searching the Software Center for "nfs" only brings up a Java-based FTP client. Searching the "Package Manager" brings up the usual array of software like nfs-common and nfs-kernel-server.

    What do you get if you search the Software Center for "nfs" on a recent vanilla Ubuntu system, say 11.10 or 12.04? Maybe this is exclusively a problem with Kubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by raja.genupula View Post
    I realize that the Software Center is supposed to be an "app store" styled program, but it doesn't seem to include the entire range of packages in the official repositories. Again, is this only true on Kubuntu?
    Last edited by SeijiSensei; April 7th, 2012 at 05:32 PM.

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    Re: Why are there now two package managers?

    In a fairly well-used Oneiric Ubuntu system, searching for "nfs" in the Software Centre brings up what you can see in the first screenshot. Clicking on "Show 57 technical items" brings up the second and nfs packages are listed there. I can also get the second if I go to "System" in Software Centre and then search for nfs. Perhaps the OP in the thread you linked didn't notice the "Show 57 technical items" link.

    I'm just installing today's 12.04 daily to my netbook. I'll see what happens in a fresh install of Pangolin and post back.
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    Re: Why are there now two package managers?

    Kubuntu's Muon Software Center doesn't show any "technical items" entry for "nfs" at all. Browsing the menus and the left-hand navigation pane doesn't show any equivalent entries either.

    If I search the list of installed items, I don't see "nfs-common" either, even though it's installed on this machine.

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    Re: Why are there now two package managers?

    It appears that the Muon developers decided to split applications between the Package Manager and Software Center programs. The apparent justification for this is to make things easier for naive users who don't care about the kinds of software people like me use every day like, say, NFS!

    I'd be okay with this approach if there was some indication of a method to show the entire array of packages like the "technical items" entry coffeecat described. As it stands now, it's a recipe for confusion for people who expect their systems to be something other than an iPad clone.

    I'm going to file a bug for this requesting the addition of an equivalent to the "technical items" feature in vanilla Ubuntu.
    Last edited by SeijiSensei; April 7th, 2012 at 06:21 PM. Reason: grammar

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    Re: Why are there now two package managers?

    Interesting. It seems that this is a Kubuntu, not an Ubuntu/gnome issue. You tagged the thread "all variants" - hence my earlier reply. Do you want it tagged Kubuntu? You might get some Kubuntu users commenting. If you can't change the tag yourself, just say and I'll change it for you.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Why are there now two package managers?

    Curioser and curioser. My 12.04 installation on the netbook is up and running. A completely vanilla install with just a "sudo apt-get update". I can't find any nfs packages in Software Centre, yet when I install Synaptic with apt-get, there are some nfs packages listed in Synaptic. Perhaps an all variants issue after all. So I can confirm what the OP in your linked thread saw.
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