AutoUpdate is a Perl script which performs a task similar to Red Hat's up2date or autorpm. It can be used to automatically download and upgrade RPMs from different HTTP(S) or (S)FTP sites, while also handling dependencies. Moreover, it can also be used to keep a server with a customized (Red Hat) distribution plus all clients up to date.
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.
Payload Delivery Vehicle (PDV) is a program that builds an executable that contains a complete package (e.g. and RPM, System V package or tar file) and the commands required to install it. When the executable is run it will extract the payload (the package) and then execute another command (such as rpm -i, pkgadd -d etc.). The big advantage to this is that a developer can hand a user a single file to be executed - the end user does not need to know how to extract the package or get it installed.
Rpm2tar is a utility for converting the contents of a binary RPM package into a gzipped tar archive. Rpm2tar attempts to preserve file ownership, groups, and permissions as they are stored in the RPM package. Rpm2tar handles files only; it does not handle pre- or post-install scripts, triggers, '%config' tags, or any other fancy features of RPM.
Loki Setup is a graphical installer for Unix applications. It features descriptions of the package to install in XML, a GTK interface that can be dynamically redefined by the user with Glade, raw and ncurses console interfaces, and the automatic generation of uninstall scripts. It has been successfully used on many Linux and UNIX platforms. It includes tools for uninstalling, patching, and recovering installations. It operates independently from any package managers.
DSWIM is a powerful informational tool for Debian's packaging system. Designed with an integrated approach it combines the functionality found in several other programs and scripts. This provides users with a centralized approach for querying the installation, allowing programmers the liberty of writing smaller and simpler code.