We have already talked about a multitude of packages and how to install on linux with a mega guide that was published on this blog a long time ago. Now is the time to talk about the meta-packages, which many users are unaware of or have heard of few. Metapackages allow us to group several programs together with their dependencies for installation at once. Something very interesting that can save time and effort.
Many distributions use them for system installation, to install desktop environments and their apps (see KDE and GNOME), to install software packages with the same purpose, such as installing all network utility packages from a distro with a single meta-package , etc. The applications are many and surely you can imagine many more.
But not only developers of large software packages or administrators can use them, you can also use and create them to install program packages that you use frequently and thus you will save yourself looking for them one by one after the installation of your distro or after a format. For example, for Debian (and derivatives) equivs is used, a tool to create this type of meta-packages. To start using it, install this package on your distro and then you will have "equivs-control" and "equivs-build", the two tools that will help you create them:
- Create the configuration file with:
- We edit the file with our favorite editor, for example:
- We fill, according to our needs, at least the values:
- Package: where you put the name of the package
- Version: where you put the version.
- Depends - Specifies a comma separated list of dependencies.
- Architecture - The architecture for which the package is intended. Here you can specify "all" without quotes to select them all or a specific one.
- File: you can add files if you want.
- Others: if you want and have the knowledge, you can fill in the rest.
- Create the meta package: