Packages and Package Managers - page 2
FTP and Web Sites
There are many Internet sites that carry Linux software. They do not charge for downloads or require you as a user to make uploads in exchange.
Three types of organizations run these sites:
First, the volunteers who write the programs for their own use. Their primary aim is to promote use of their programs and to get feedback from other users to help them make the programs better. Second, companies like Red Hat who distribute full working sets of Linux software. Although companies like this derive little direct income from their Web sites, the Internet provides a fast and cheap way to deliver updates to their customers. It also attracts new ones by offering complete software free of charge. Lastly there are other organizations such as universities who have an interest in the free flow of software. The differences between the sites in terms of the core software they carry are not great and can again be split into three categories. Some very large sites carry many unusual programs. There are well-organized sites that make it easy to find the materials. Finally, there are specialist sites that focus on a particular area of interest or concentrate on leading-edge Linux software technology.
There are also CD-ROMs available with large sets of programs. The better ones are produced by groups interested in a particular program or by distribution makers. An example is the POVray CD for 3D graphics. There are also several sets of CDs available which aim to be comprehensive, and hold a tremendous amount of software on 10 volumes or more. These are cheap by volume. However, unless you have some expertise, they can be a waste of time as they are sometimes not well organized.