Zero Install- Run software without the need to install it in your system

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If you want any software running in your computer, the common process is to download it from internet, extract it, install it and then finally run it. The software zeroinstall-iconpackages that are distributed with Zero Install can run directly on the computer as they don’t have to be extracted and installed.

If you want to use the software accompanied with Zero Install, you should initially download it from internet. The first time the user uses the software is cached and during all the subsequent running of the software it is accessed from the cache. Just like the ordinary software without Zero Install doing unpacking in application directory systems, inside the cache each application unpacks to its own directory. For each of the program with Zero Install the URL is generated using which the software is accessed.

How Zero Install is Beneficial?

Since the software accompanied with Zero Install does not have to be installed, it has no limitations of the operating system. Such software can be readily used on all types of operating systems like Windows, Mac, Linux and other UNIX based systems. The companies developing application software can offer separate packages of the software for the individual operating systems or there can be just one package with Zero install that can be used on all the operating systems. A single package with Zero Install can work everywhere with the facilities of automatic updates.

There are different types of packaging systems, but the advantage offered by Zero Install is that no root password is required to install software. A particular user can install the packages and it affects only the person installing it, while the other users can install and run the new software.

About Zero Install

With the above description it now becomes easier to understand what Zero Install is. Zero Install is the system for distributing and packaging the software for multiple operating systems. Zero Install is a decentralized cross-distribution software installation system. The prominent features of Zero Install include full support for shared libraries, sharing between the users, and integration with native platform package manager. It is based on open source platform and is available Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Unix systems.

A number of software these days offer Zero Install as additional non-default component. The packaging and distribution systems of Zero Install are implemented using Injector, a Python program.

Important Features of Zero Install

1) Distributing the software: With Zero Install anybody can package the software and distribute it, all you require is a website. You can create a single package that can run everywhere on all operating systems. The package can have facility for automatic updates and dependency handling.

2) Security: The important aspect of Zero Install is that the users intending to use the software don’t require administrator access just to use the simple software like word processor. For the security purpose, when the new software is run the digital signatures are always checked. The users can share the libraries without having to trust each other.

3) Better control of the computer: Since the software with Zero Install does not have to be installed there are no guesses during installation. On a single system one can use the stable and experimental versions of the software and also mix and match them.

You can install Zero install using the following commands:

In UBuntu/ Debian and LinuxMint :

sudo apt-get install zeroinstall-injector

For other Linux distro download and install the source package.

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For questions please refer to our Q/A forum at : http://ask.unixmen.com/

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