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USE1.4.1-B Overview


Understanding the general principles of a package manager is the foundation to utilize them. The package manager provides a repository of software stored in a dedicated file system location – even for different versions. Specific software and version may depend on other software or libraries forming a tree of dependencies. The software might be incompatible with another software, too.

The user can query available software via commands and load software using a program of the package manager via the shell command-line interface. A package manager then makes it available by manipulating shell variables. Understanding these variables is crucial to understand the system behavior and to debug issues.


  • To describe the principles of a package manager and how it interfaces with the shell.


  • Describe the general dependency structure of software.
  • Describe how a package manager makes software available.
  • Use the export command to print shell variables.
  • Understand shell variables relevant for executing and building software:
    • PATH for executables
    • LD_LIBRARY_PATH for libraries
    • MANPATH for manual pages (man command)
    • PKG_CONFIG_PATH for pkg-config
  • Manipulate shell variables to include additional software:
    • Setting shell variables for a single program by prefixing or by using export.


skill-tree/use/1/4/1/b.txt · Last modified: 2020/07/19 21:22 by lucy