Zero Install is for app developers who do not want to bother about dependency hell and just want to do what they need to do – write their own software. Zero Install takes care that the app installs and runs on the target platforms. This is much more necessary for platforms like Linux which have diverse flavours with diverse package management mechanisms. Zero Install enables a developer to publish his software directly from his website. Zero Install is not a new packaging format. The author can specify necessary parameters in XML (e.g. packages and dependencies) and those will be taken care of on all platforms Zero Install supports. It also supports installation of multiple versions of the same library without conflict. This helps sandboxing, virtualization and development version testing without interfering with any standard version already installed in the system.
Zero Install supports various flavours of Linux and Windows. It can also be installed on a USB drive or for non-admin users.
Website: Zero Install
[Courtesy: Jester Raiin]