[Off-topic] Re: Best windows installer?

Romain Lenglet <>
Fri Jul 7 05:50:48 CEST 2006

Bengt Kleberg wrote:
> On 2006-07-06 02:26, David Hopwood wrote:
> ...deleted
> > Don't Windows and Unix users generally have quite different
> > expectations about how installation should work? I would
> > have thought that most Unix
> this one i pass. i do not use windows.
> perhaps i could be permitted to compare mac and unix, instead?
> on unix i am quite comfortable with a source/compile
> installation. whereas on a mac i am only use the normal
> pre-compiled drag-and-drop installation. otherwise i forgoe
> the software.

And how do you do upgrades? And uninstallations?

> > users prefer to use their OS/distribution's package manager,
> > rather than a standalone executable installer.
> ''most''? those that do not have the password for root are
> surely not able to use their OS/distribution's package
> manager, are they? so, does most unix user have root, or not?

"Users" above also includes administrators.
If you don't have root access, or if your administrator has not 
given you enough sudo(1) rights, then your administrator should 
be willing to help you install the software that you need to do 
your work. If he is not willing to help, and then you have no 
way to install software correctly (i.e., using the OS's 
packaging system if there is one, and respecting standards such 
as the LSB and the FHS), then that system administrator should 
be fired.

This reminds me of "security managers" who are responsible for 
the maintainance of firewalls, but who systematically refuse to 
open ports that are necessary for work (CVS, etc.). In the end, 
users are forced to establish (in secret!) SSH or HTTP tunnels 
with systems outside, or even to buy separate xDSL lines using 
the company's budget, to have direct access to the outside 
without having to use the company's network (yes, I have seen 
that IRL!), which completely ruins the interest of having a 
firewall in the first place.

Stated otherwise, if you can't use the packaging system of your 
OS to install and upgrade software (even if this would require 
that you ask your administrator to do so), it is not a technical 
problem, but it is a human and managerial one. Don't expect a 
technical solution to solve this problem.

And when administrators have to manage several tens or hundreds 
of computers, what do you believe they prefer: (1) download 
sources and compile, and install by hand all software, on every 
computer, and for every installation or upgrade of every 
software, or (2) use automatic tools based on existing packaging 
systems (e.g., cfengine, apt, fai, etc. for GNU/Linux distros)?


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