Originally Posted by liamkincaid25
I am using Debian for a few days now. I want to install Firefox and kopete but do not know how. I dowloaded kopete an appears as a .deb file, firefox appear as a .tar.bz2 file. I did something trying to install the programs but nothing works. The best I got was seeing the icon for kopete but when I click on it nothing happens, Synaptic package management tells me it is a broken and is marked red (not good obviously). How do I install programs in debian (is different than with windows where programs comes with .exe). Any help will be appreciated.
The suggestions given in the other posts are good. No reason to HAVE to deal with .deb or .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 packages. However, there are ways to handle them, so in case you still want to know how, here is how. For .deb packages, you have to assume root administrator privileges before you can operate on deb files. You can do that by running the command su and providing the root password, you can run the command sudo followed by an command, then provide the root password at a prompt, or you can login as root.
To directly install a .deb package that you have downloaded onto your local system, from root (using any method above or whatever other mechanisms may be available) type:
dpkg -i package-name.deb
To build a .tar.bz2 file into an application, you may not need to become root as long as you can install it into a directory within your home user account. You can, if you wish, install a Firefox.tar.bz2 file right into a Firefox directory beneath ~, your home directory.
tar xvf firefox.tar.bz2 (use whatever file name you downloaded). To get a .tar.gz file, you can optionally add the z flag, eg. tar zxvf firefox.tar.gz. To do the same with a .bz2 file, use the j option instead of the z option. Recent experiments with the latest version of GNU tar indicate that you no longer need to specify the extract compression type - tar will figure it out from the file name, which is why tar xvf works. x specifies to extract a file, v specifies that you want to see a display of each file in the archive (omit this if you do not want to see what tar is extracting) and f to specify the file, which is the next argument.
On the dpkg command, -i installs the named package. The dpkg tool is the underlying tool used by apt-get, aptitude, kpackage, synaptic, and other Debian package managers.
I hope this extra information adds to your understanding of handling different types of installation packages. With Debian, since it has such a full repository of applications, you need not use these techniques unless you want to bring in software from other sources as well as the default Debian binaries.
If I can be of further help or if I can clarify anything that is confusing, do not hesitate to write back.