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Depot-Lite: A Mechanism for Managing Software

John P. Rouillard and Richard B. Martin
University of Massachusetts at Boston


Previous versions of depot type schemes for maintaining software, including the NIST depot[5], Xheir[8], CMU depot[2] and its extensions[10], address the needs of a large site with knowledgeable software specialists. At the University of Massachusetts at Boston, software support is provided by a number of student operators, and faculty members. A new lighter weight depot scheme was needed to reduce the amount of knowledge needed by these less experienced software installers. In addition, we needed a depot scheme that would allow the concurrent operation of multiple versions of the same software package on a given host. This paper presents a refinement of the depot scheme that works well for a smaller site, that does not have dedicated software specialists, as well as a larger site that is interested in getting the efficiency and modularity advantages that the depot scheme offers. Although we use the modules package and the amd automounter to ease the administration of depot-lite, neither tool is mandatory for its operation.

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