[TUHS] Package Management

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Sun Nov 22 03:50:47 AEST 2020

Things were pretty much ad hoc.  Commercial software likely came
as tar/cpio tapes to install however the vendor wanted. Free software
was from USENET in source code, so again, however people wanted.

The AT&T Unix PC (7300 / 3B1) in the late 80s had a file format
for installing software from floppy and tracked what was installed,
but that was unique to it.

Package managers as we know them today really became a big thing
with Linux. Redhat's RPM was one of the earliest.

My two cents; I'm sure others remember it differently.


Henry Bent <henry.r.bent at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello All,
> I know I have asked this before, but I am curious about any new replies or
> insight.  How did package management start?  Were sites keeping track of
> packages installed in a flat file that you could grep (as god intended)
> somewhere, or were upgrades and additions simply done without significant
> announcement?  At what point did someone decide, 'Hey, we need to have a
> central way to track additional software"?
> I know of DEC's setld and SGI's inst in the latter half of the '80s.  What
> was the mechanism before that?
> -Henry

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