What do you do when an application isn't packaged for your Linux distro?

What do you do when an application isn't packaged for your Linux distro?

Software isn't always born ready-to-install. A package maintainer does the work to make sure each release works with your Linux distribution.

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When a program isn't packaged for my distro, I...

Package managers make life so easy that many of us have forgotten what things were like in the olden days when getting a piece of software to work with your system was a real test of patience and endurance.

But even so, not every piece of software comes readily packaged for your distribution of choice. Maybe you're lucky and it's a single file binary (from a trusted, verifiable source only, we hope!). Maybe it's a .tar.gz file that you simply need to decompress. Perhaps it comes as a Flatpak or Snap file which will work across distributions. Or maybe you're going to end up compiling from source. May the dependency gods smile upon your efforts!

Whatever you decide to do, we hope it brings a little bit of appreciation for the hard work that the package maintainers who keep your Linux distribution do every day in order to make the consumption of software easier.

Every time you yum, dnf, zypper, apt, apt-get, or pacman, we hope you'll take a moment to be thankful for the tireless packagers, and maybe everyone once in a while, wish them a thank you.


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