AppSet: a refreshingly nice package manager for Arch Linux in the times of app stores

In this post I will not talk about LibreOffice or open standards  but I thought this could be of interest to GNU/Linux users out there so feel free to comment and discuss.

I’m a rather outspoken user of Arch Linux after having used and tried many other distributions (MandrakeSoft/Mandriva, Suse, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint, SLAX, Chakra and even a few others) and I think I got to like the rolling release concept quite a lot. The rolling release concept essentially takes away the notion of milestone release for a Linux distribution and replaces it by incremental and almost continuous updates. Which means that everyday I can update my system and it’s thus almost always running the most recent stable software versions. Note that the upgrade is my choice only, I could stop doing this for 3 weeks instance and that would be fine. Using Arch Linux does not only mean embracing the rolling release distribution model. It also  means being ready to install your system from the command line (granted, you only do that once in theory) which can be tedious but not reall difficult. Another “side effect” of using Arch Linux is that the distribution’s package management is done entirely through the command line and with the help of the excellent package manager pacman. Pacman is however not a graphical package manager, or rather, it does not come with a default, out of the box graphical front-end. Several of them do exist but it does not seem to be in the culture of Arch Linux to use one on a regular basis. Enter AppSet. AppSet is a very nice graphical package manager written in Qt; it even got me use KDE again on par with Gnome. AppSet does not only run on Arch Linux, it also supports Chakra (a very close fork of Arch Linux) and works in theory with any other packaging system.

In the times of ubiquitous App Stores, even the ones that actually values and promotes Free Software such as the Ubuntu App Store, it’s good to hear you still have innovation happening in this field, with tools being developed that let users be in total control of their system. I’m sure that the AppSet team would welcome more contributors and more distributions!

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