Nix fixes dependency hell on all Linux distributions
Posted by: Anonymous
on December 22, 2008 10:33 PM
Nix is just one of many tools that is trying to address a shortcoming in the way that software is currently packaged for Linux; it's true that if you stick to the stuff in your distro's repositories, then you don't get "dependency hell", or (for those less inclined to gross melodrama) dependency conflicts. If you want to install a piece of software that requires dependencies your distro cannot provide (such as a newer version of glibc), you typically need to install statically compiled versions of the software.
Which means that you either need to hope someone statically compiled software for your OS, or you need to do it yourself. Nix et al are just providing an easier mechanism for this.
There's been a lot of griping about the "big freeze" model of development (q.v. Beranger' s big rant that lit up the blogosphere last week), things like Nix present an alternative to that model. GoboLinux is another project trying to do something like this, from what I understand.
Whether you agree with this approach or not, it solves a problem for some users. Time will tell if it's a good idea.