What to Do When Package XYZ is Not Available

Dedicated Servers do not need a lot of software to run. You have your operating system, basic system services, the web server, mail server, database server, and a firewall. Depending on your setup, you may have other applications, but you usually do not need to install any exotic software. Web applications cover most frontend functions. Occasionally, however, you may need to install a new program, and today we look at what you should do when you cannot easily find it.

To better explain what I mean, it should be noted that Linux-based operating systems typically use online software repositories. With them, you can easily search for programs and install them without needing to visit a separate website or install from a disc. Popular distributions such as CentOS use the YUM package management system, while Debian-based systems use one called APT.

The question is: What should you do when the package you want is not available from your standard repository? There are a couple of options you can consider.

1. Third-party repository – Often times, many other people want the same software that you do, but your distribution either does not want to include it because of its size or its purpose, which may not fit with the distribution’s goals. Either way, adding a third-party repository will get you what you need.

2. Developer packages – Sometimes, the developer of the software will include their own binary builds for several Linux distributions. In such a case, you can just download it from them. Just make sure the version is current and dependencies are covered.

3. Source  build – If you really feel you need the software, you can always build it from source. Just make sure you know what you are doing and that you have the necessary development files to make it work.