Using Gui Rpm Tools

Several GUI RPM front-ends are available. Mandrake uses MandrakeUpdate (rpmdrake), Red Hat ships with one known as Package Management (redhat-config-packages), and SuSE's YaST and YaST2 include integrated RPM-management tools. An older tool called GNOME RPM is available on many distributions. Figure 11.1 shows GNOME RPM in use.

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Figure 11.1: GUI RPM Tools enable you to browse and manipulate installed and uninstalled packages in a point-and-click environment.

The details of how these tools operate differ somewhat, but typically, you can browse the installed packages using a hierarchical display. For instance, Figure 11.1 shows the packages that are installed in the Editors category. You can select an installed package, query its contents, uninstall it, and so on. You can install a package by clicking the Install button, clicking Add in the resulting Install dialog box, selecting a package in the resulting file selector dialog box, and then clicking Install in the Install dialog box. Mandrake's MandrakeUpdate, Red Hat's Package Management, and SuSE's YaST and YaST2 enable you to install any package that comes with the distribution from a list. The utility then locates depended-upon packages and prompts you for the disc or discs on which the packages reside. This feature can greatly simplify installation of new software, provided it comes with the distribution.

Tip GUI package management tools are very useful for browsing the installed packages. You can see what's installed, query packages to determine what they do, and uninstall packages you don't need. This capability enables you to save disk space and reduce the security threat posed by the presence of unnecessary servers or other potentially buggy software.

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