Installing binaries - best practice

Hi all,

Just moved from Ubuntu to Fedora 31.
In the app installation phase, I’ve noticed that sometimes downloading tar from some of the app websites (like JetBrains WebStorm or Intellij), is much lighter than installing from the Software manager (0.4 vs 2.0 gb in the WebStorm case).

As I’m fairly new to linux, I have some questions:

  • Is the package from the software manager really that much bigger? What are ‘Installed size’ and ‘Download size’ and why are they so different?
  • Where should I extract such tar files? Is there best practice to that? I don’t believe it’s the /home/user/Downloads directory.


I haven’t had to do this for anything on Fedora, but on my Arch Linux system, I just created a subdirectory ~/Downloads/builds for stuff like that. But, it could really be anywhere.

Hi.  People have had posted there, that Gnume Software uses some thingy called “appstream”^see #7.  Maybe this is the reason for that.

1 Like

Rpm packages are compressed (cpio/gzip). Their download sizes will usually be smaller than the installed sizes.


I would recommend installing packages from Fedora (or trusted) repositories using dnf. Alternatively, you can use flatpaks from flathub, for example Flathub—An app store and build service for Linux.

A big advantage is that those packages get updated whenever you update your system and you don’t have to take care of updates manually.


To add to this, please also note that when installing using the package manager, it also downloads all the other software that is required to run the selected application, i.e., its dependencies. So, the download is generally composed of multiple packages.


Appstream is merely metadata to allow Gnome Software to list packages with their screenshots and so on. Under the hood, Gnome-software still installs rpm packages (or Flatpaks).