As a managed services provider (MSP), applying patches to keep software up-to-date is crucial to secure customer networks. With various customers using different operating systems, MSPs must deal with patching vulnerabilities in a multitude of ways. For Linux operating systems [https://www.solarwindsmsp.com/blog/what-you-need-know-get-linux-administration], package management tools can save a great deal of time and hassle. Without package installation, MSPs would have to manage the various software dependencies individually—an effective package management strategy can allow MSPs to install a single folder for expansion into many different files.
Linux package management is often referred to as “patching,” which can quickly become confusing for MSPs and their customers. Applying a package, a.k.a. “patching” is a different concept from applying a patch. To make this distinction clear, we will refer to package management by explicitly using the term “package.”
Linux users know installing packages is a central part of using applications in the Linux universe. In addition to application uploading, Linux users can use package installation for patch updates. Linux users are generally aware modifying the Linux kernel can correct for bugs in the software, but with packaged metadata this doesn’t have to be so complicated—simply install your newest dependency as a package, and updates to your application software can be fully realized with the new package.
What is a package?