Zero Install is a decentralized cross-distribution software installation system. It allows software developers to publish programs directly from their own Web sites, while supporting features familiar from centralized distribution repositories such as shared libraries, automatic updates, and digital signatures. It is intended to complement, rather than replace, the operating system's package management. 0install packages never interfere with those provided by the distribution.
makeself is a small shell script that generates a self-extractable compressed TAR archive from a directory. The resulting file appears as a shell script, and can be launched as is. The archive will then uncompress itself to a temporary directory and an arbitrary command will be executed (for example, an installation script). This is pretty similar to archives generated with WinZip Self-Extractor in the Windows world.
BitRock InstallBuilder allows you to create easy-to-use multiplatform installers for Linux (x86/PPC/s390/x86_64/Itanium), Windows, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris (x86/Sparc), IRIX, AIX, and HP-UX applications. The generated application installers have a native look-and-feel and no external dependencies, and can be run in GUI, text, and unattended modes. In addition to self-contained installers, the installation tool is also able to generate standalone RPM packages.
toast is a simple package manager for Unix. It automatically locates and downloads source code, determines how to compile it, installs each package in its own directory tree, and makes the resulting binaries available through an encap/GNU stow-like symlink tree. It also supports binary packages. It is often used to install and manage software in a non-root user's home directory.
SystemImager automates the installation of Linux to masses of similar machines. Software distribution, configuration, and operating system updates are made easy, including updates from one Linux release to another. It can also be used for content distribution on Web servers. It is most useful in environments with large numbers of identical machines. Some typical environments include Internet server farms, high performance clusters, computer labs, and corporate desktop environments where all workstations have the same basic hardware configuration.
radmind is a suite of Unix command-line tools and a server designed to remotely administer the file systems of multiple Unix machines. At its core, radmind operates as a tripwire. It is able to detect changes to any managed filesystem object, e.g. files, directories, links, etc. However, radmind goes further than just integrity checking: once a change is detected, radmind can optionally reverse the change. Each managed machine may have its own loadset composed of multiple, layered overloads. This allows, for example, the operating system to be described separately from applications. Loadsets are stored on a remote server. By updating a loadset on the server, changes can be pushed to managed machines.
The poldek is an RPM package management tool which allows you to easily perform package verification, installation (including system installation from scratch), upgrading, and removal. Package dependencies are automatically handled, so if you try to install a package that needs others to be installed, it will download all needed packages and install them. It can be used in batch (like apt-get from Debian's APT) or interactive mode. The interactive mode puts you into a readline interface with commandline autocompletion and history, similar to the shell mode of Perl's CPAN.