The business manager’s guide to software package management

Business managers need to understand the crucial role that software package management plays in their organization. But what is that role, exactly, and why is software package management for business managers an essential activity? Learn all the answers in this guide to software package management; aimed exclusively at business managers. 

What is software package management 

Software package management is the process of finding, installing, updating, and removing the software packages your business needs in its day-to-day operations. By reading a guide to software package management and staying on top of these tasks, business managers can ensure employees have the tools they need for their jobs, letting them work at maximum efficiency and productivity.

For business managers, the challenges of software package management include:

  • Choosing the correct packages: Many software packages have similar functionality, making it hard to choose between them. Business managers must carefully evaluate their options by researching and speaking with vendors and internal employees.

  • Updates and patches: Software that's actively maintained regularly has new versions and releases, offering the latest features, bug fixes, and security patches. Business managers must verify that packages are kept up-to-date and functional, avoiding conflicts due to package incompatibilities.

  • License management: If your organization uses software packages with proprietary or paid licenses, business managers need to verify that the organization remains compliant with these licenses. The task of license management includes documenting how the packages are used and scheduling license renewals.

  • Logistics: Business managers must ensure that suitable software packages are continuously available to everyone in the organization who needs them. Packages may be hosted in the cloud or on-premises and must be deployed across various machines and devices.

Software package management 101

To conclude this guide to software package management for business managers, let’s look at how it works in one of the most popular Linux distributions: Red Hat.

Red Hat's yum is a built-in software package manager that allows users to search for, list, install, and remove packages. Entering the following commands into the Red Hat terminal helps users perform Red Hat software package management:

  • The command yum search [term] searches for software packages that match the given search term.

  • yum list --installed returns a list of all the software packages installed on the current system.

  • yum info [package-name] returns information about the given package name.

  • yum install [package-name] installs the given package on the system.

  • yum check-update checks for software updates for all installed packages.

  • yum update [package-name] updates the given package. yum update updates all packages in the system and their dependencies.

  • yum remove [package-name] uninstalls the given package.

  • yum group list returns information about the current system’s package groups. A package group is a collection of software packages organized around a common purpose.

Red Hat package management can also be automated with the DNF Automatic tool, which automatically checks for and downloads new software updates.

(Image courtesy: Markus Spiske,  Unsplash)

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