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An Interesting Thing To Note in Package Installation

Posted by Harish at Monday, August 18, 2008

Have you ever wondered what happens when you install a software in Ubuntu using Synaptic? You see some extra files also getting downloaded along with the software you want to install. What is the mystery behind these? Even after downloading so many packages why hasn't my harddisk space reduced much? Well, here is the answer to all of these questions!
When ever you install some software like VLC Media Player using Synaptic, here is what happens
1. The object file of VLC Player which is the raw compilation of the source code is downloaded. 
2. In order to get the object code functioning, it needs to be linked with the essential libraries. So they are also downloaded. These are the extra files you see.
3. Now during the installation, the required libraries are searched for in the computer. This is called 'dependency checking'. Once all the essential libraries are found the object file is linked with the essential libraries and the package is installed in your computer.
Now you download some other software which uses the same libraries as VLC Player. Guess what will happen? Only the object file will be downloaded and installed using the libraries available already. So there is literally no file will be present more than once. This increases the storage efficiency and the efficiency of the OS. Ubuntu Rocks!!!


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