How to Install a New Package Manager in Linux

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A package manager is essential for managing and maintaining software on your Linux system. Every Linux distribution comes with a default package manager. Ubuntu comes with the APT package manager, Arch-based distros have Pacman, etc.


If you want to explore other package managers, here’s how you can install another package manager without having to upgrade to a whole new distro.


Choose your package manager

There are several package managers available for free download. Choose your cut and install it. In case you’re wondering what the best options are, here’s a short list of the most important package managers for Linux:

1.Pacman

Pacman is the default package manager for all Arch-based distributions. It follows a server-client mechanism to sync updates in the local system with the latest releases on the server, fitting in perfectly with Arch’s cutting-edge philosophy.

2. APT

Advanced Package Tool or APT is a free and open source package manager that ships as the default package management solution for Ubuntu/Debian derivatives. It is user-friendly, fast and reliable.

3.DNF

Dandified Yum or DNF is the generational successor to the Yellowdog Updater Modified (YUM) package manager. DNF is most often used as the main package manager on RPM-based Linux distributions: Fedora, CentOS, and RHEL.

DNF was developed with the primary purpose of addressing the shortcomings of YUM and offers performance improvements and other quality of life updates to those migrating from YUM.

Install a new package manager on Linux

The installation steps differ from distribution to distribution, depending on which package manager you install and where you install it. Let’s look at installing different package managers in three of the most popular Linux distributions: Ubuntu, Arch, and Fedora.

Although you are free to install and try different package managers on the same distro, this can often lead to package manager conflicts and, even worse, dependency issues.

These issues can cause problems in your Linux desktop experience, so we recommend choosing a distro based on the package manager it ships with.

How to install Pacman in Ubuntu/Debian

There is no official Pacman variant compatible with Ubuntu/Debian. You will therefore have to make do with a Pacman emulation script that accepts Pacman commands to invoke the equivalent options in APT. Here is how you can emulate Pacman in your Ubuntu/Debian based distribution:

  1. As a preliminary step, update and upgrade your system using:
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
  2. Using the wget command, download the DEB package of the latest version of the Pacman package manager from the official Deb Pacman repository. Also, if you are using an RPM-based distribution, download the RPM package for installation. You can also download the package manually if you don’t want to use wget.
  3. Install the package using dpkg by running:
    sudo dpkg -i deb-pacman-*.dpkg

Invoke the Pacman emulator script using the Pac man command and use it as you would use Pacman on any Arch Linux based distribution. Try some Pacman commands to get a feel for it and check for errors. For a true Pacman experience, we recommend upgrading to Arch Linux.

How to Install DNF on Ubuntu and Debian

Unlike Pacman, you can install the DNF package manager directly using APT, avoiding the hassle of manually organizing build files. Follow these steps to install DNF on your Debian-based Linux distribution:

  1. As a preliminary step, update and upgrade your system using:
    sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
  2. Run the following command to install DNF using the APT package manager:
    sudo apt install dnf

APT will now start installing the DNF package manager on your system. Test it out by trying some basic commands. To get started, try downloading and installing a new package as you would on regular RPM distributions.

How to Install APT on Fedora and Other RPM-Based Distributions

Similar to installing DNF on Ubuntu with APT, you can install APT in Fedora using the DNF package manager. Follow these steps to install APT on your RPM-based Linux distribution:

  1. As a preliminary step, update and upgrade your system using:
    sudo dnf upgrade
  2. Run the following command to install APT using the DNF package manager:
    sudo dnf install apt

You should now have the APT package manager installed on your system. Summon it by typing apt and try some basic commands to get started.

How to Install Pacman on Fedora and Other RPM-Based Distributions

You can install Pacman on Fedora and other RPM-based distributions by downloading and installing the package using the DNF package manager. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. As a preliminary step, update and upgrade your system using:
    sudo dnf upgrade
  2. Run the following command to install Pacman using the DNF package manager:
    sudo dnf install pacman

DNF will now begin installing Pacman on your system. To learn how to use it, type sudo pacman-h and you will get a complete list of all the commands and features offered by Pacman.

How to Install APT and DNF on Arch Linux

You can install the APT and DNF package managers on Arch Linux from the Arch User Repository (AUR). AUR is a community repository that hosts thousands of packages contributed by Arch users. You can either use an AUR helper like yay or manually install the packages on your system.

Here is how to install APT and DNF on Arch Linux:

  1. As a preliminary step, update and upgrade your system using:
    sudo pacman -Syu
  2. Run the following command to install DNF and APT using yay:
    yay -S dnf && yay -S apt

APT and DNF package managers must be installed on your system. You can now use them for all your package management tasks.

Efficiently manage packages on your Linux system

If you’re motivated to use Linux as your daily driver, you need to put in the time and effort to learn the basics of package management to ensure your system stays efficient and fast.

Package management is key to the longevity of your Linux system and ensures that your system is not compromised by broken packages.

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