What's the difference between /etc/alternatives and the dynamic software collections framework?

Solution Unverified - Updated -

Environment

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Issue

How do I know when to use /etc/alternatives or scl-utils for my application, daemon, or project I'm developing?

Resolution

/etc/alternatives dynamic software collections framework (scl-utils)
system wide per-user or project-specific, the system is not altered
good for daemons/services good for languages1
persists across reboots does not persist across reboots (work in progress)
does not allow parallel use/installation allows for parallel use/installation
not as standardized more standardized

NOTE: The scl-utils package is provided in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and 6, but the Red Hat Software Collections product uses the scl-utils package to provide additional updated packages that are fully supported to customers in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 only. Do not confuse "dynamic software collections" as an underlying technology with "Red Hat Software Collections" as a product (which uses the technology).

Footnotes

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