In One Fell Swoop » Linux Magazine

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Topgrade detects all the package managers installed on a system and executes them one by one at the command line.

The times when the preferred source for an application was a distribution’s own archives are definitely over for the majority of users today. In addition to third-party repositories, Flatpaks, AppImages, and snaps, the average user’s filesystem also hosts PIP (Python), Cargo (Rust), npm (Node.js), or Homebrew (macOS) based installations. All of these installations bypass the operating system’s update mechanisms, forcing you to update them separately.

One way out of this uncomfortable situation is the Topgrade package manager. Topgrade was recently abandoned by the original developer after five years [1], but the community is now continuing to maintain the tool as Topgrade-rs [2]. For simplicity’s sake, I will simply refer to the community fork of the tool as Topgrade in this article.

One for All

Topgrade promises to launch all package managers used on the system one by one via a single terminal command, as well as install updates available for them, even on remote machines. This offer does not just apply to Linux, but also to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), Chocolatey and Scoop on Windows, and FreeBSD and DragonFly BSD. Topgrade relies on the fwupd daemon to integrate firmware from the Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LFVS) [3]. In addition, the tool updates far more software, such as Pi-hole, tmux, and Vim plugins. An overview is available on GitHub [4].

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