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Old 10-31-2004, 03:43 PM   #1
poonaninja
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General Linux Question from a windows user


Hey everybody....

I am a newbie on this board and also to linux....

Well i dont have linux yet and am using a windows machine, but i wanted to research things about linux before i make the switch.

First off i have heard really good things about ubuntu linux....any thoughts?

I also have some questions about linux being a stupid windows user that i am...

1. What are rpms ? are these like exes? and do all distros of linux use rpms ?

2. Also...are superuser and sudo the same thing? ie...su on some distros and sudo on other distros ?

3. Oh yeah....with desktop managers such as KDE and gnome, are there only specific programs you can use with each desktop. hmmm...if that doesnt make sense this might help......can i use any program for linux with any desktop?

4. I have also seen linux programs but they always say for debian , etc....so i cannot use those programs because they are for specific distros or can i still use them?

Thanks in advance everybody.

Poonaninja



---------------------------------------
ninja in the night
---------------------------------------
 
Old 10-31-2004, 03:47 PM   #2
secesh
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a couple things here -- there is no real equivalency to an 'exe' -- linux does not use file extensions like windows. any file can be 'executed', but only binary files or scripts are similar to a windows executable file.

an rpm is a package... i believe the term comes from 'redhat package manager', but don't quote me... this is most certantly not like a windows '.exe' file. A package in linux is similar to an install program in windows. -- a package will attempt to install a program, or the contents of the package. Packages/program installation are a major hump for non-linux users to get over to be comfortable in the environment. This is not helped by the fact that different distrobutions use different packaging systems, all with their pros/cons, and some distros don't really have anything. and then there's compiling from source...

su
have you ever run winNT? -- are you familiar with the 'Administrator' role in windows?
linux has a user called 'root' which plays God over a system. root has unlimited access to the system, and weilds power to do/control everything. running 'su' will log a user in as root, while sudo will execute a program as root. [edit]note here that su can log in as different users -- 'su betty' will prompt for betty's password, unless you 'su betty' while root - no password prompt.[/edit]

kde/gnome/etc
linux = choice. most programs will be able to run under different window managers, but some are compiled to utilize specific features of x-wm, and those are the ones which you will find trouble running under different WMs

hope that gets you started...

Last edited by secesh; 10-31-2004 at 04:05 PM.
 
Old 10-31-2004, 03:55 PM   #3
Tinkster
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Quote:
1. What are rpms ?
Redhat Package Manager files ... it's one way
of making software distribution packages.

Quote:
are these like exes?
No

Quote:
and do all distros of linux use rpms ?
Thanks goodness no, again :)
Ubuntu, since it's debian based, will use deb packages.


Quote:
2. Also...are superuser and sudo the same thing? ie...su on some distros and sudo on other distros ?
Superuser is a user-account.

su and sudo are two programs.

su stands for switch user, and sudo can be
interpreted as "do as superuser". They have
different functionalities, and you should (if you
do lots of administrative tasks) make your life
easier by setting up sudo :)


Quote:
4. I have also seen linux programs but they always say for debian , etc....so i cannot use those programs because they are for specific distros or can i still use them?
That's most commonly only a thing of "easy install", sometimes
a version of a program depends on a certain library it's compiled
against ...


Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 10-31-2004, 04:00 PM   #4
robert644
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gnome and kde provide certain system libraries that some applications need to run. if you install gnome and kde, you will be able to use any desktop enviroment with kde and gnome applications, it will not be a case of you can only run a gnome application with the gnome desktop.

packages made for specific distrobutions are almost always available in their source version, so you can compile them to run with other distrobutions.

www.freshmeat.net is a good place to locate software in it's source form.

when just starting, get yourself a mainstream distrobution. It'll be easy to install and will have more bugs ironed out of it than something newer or more propietary. I would suggest Fedora or Debian. and I would suggest just installing it and seeing what happens, rather than trying to find the perfect distro and perfect setup.
 
Old 10-31-2004, 05:21 PM   #5
poonaninja
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Thanks everybody !

So...rpms are install packagers....what if there is no install packagers for a certain distro ? can you take an rpm and extract the source from it?

So, its a good idea to keep both KDE and gnome for iteroperability with most programs ?

In windows, you have to pretty much use administrator for everything. Can you install with a normal user or go do it as root ? or sudo ?

And if a particular distro is based on another distro (ie..ubuntu from debian), can you use the base distro's(debian, slackware,etc) packages ?

Thanks everybody.


EDIT : how do you install programs in linux?

Last edited by poonaninja; 10-31-2004 at 06:09 PM.
 
Old 10-31-2004, 07:43 PM   #6
Zuggy
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To install new programs you'll download either a file that says program .bz2.tar or program .gzip.tar

These are compressed files. I don't remeber the commands off the top of my head to install a new program (I refer to one of my books for that) but basically you have the source code and by using a series of commands it will install the program under any linux distro.

Some one please post installation instructions since without them it just sounds like I'm rambling.
 
Old 10-31-2004, 08:04 PM   #7
poonaninja
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Thanks Zuggy...Doyou have to unzip it then install it? or does the install program unzip it itself?

Some one post how to install --> that'd be good.

Also, in my university, a prof sends notes as exe (some paperport thing that opens up notes from a program). Do you think i can open these in wine?

Side note [to zuggy] : hope your laptop restoration goes well. Also you are one of the few people who like classical music Try out music from this site : http://www.hudsonstudios.net
composer who has all his music on his site...very good stuff...

End Side note..

Poonaninja
 
Old 10-31-2004, 08:08 PM   #8
Zuggy
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I would include the instructions but I have temporarily misplaced my pocket reference guide. I do know that uncompressing the files is done at the same time as the installation. Once you get it memoraized it's really easy (or so I hear my memory isn't all that great).
 
Old 10-31-2004, 08:34 PM   #9
synonymy
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something.tar.gz <your file should look something like this

#gunzip something.tar.gz <unzip

something.tar <what the file should look like now

#tar -xvf something.tar <unpackaging

cd something <change to the newly xtracted directory

ls <to list the files extracted

./configure <generally you'll find this one in the file list and checks dependancies and config

make <compile the code

make install <installs to the default location within the file structure



Hope I helped
 
Old 10-31-2004, 08:46 PM   #10
poonaninja
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Thanks synonymy.

Let me see if i get this straight,

To install tar.gz : unzip, untar, compile, make install.
To install souce : compile, make install
To install binary (is that what they are called?) : make install

if it is a program like kword or something, do i just install it someplace (anywhere?) or do i have to put it in a specific place so the system can acess it?

Thanks for all the help everybody!!

Poonaninja
 
Old 11-01-2004, 02:52 AM   #11
pranij
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hello,
i'm also a newbie and i'm also learning about installation in linux. i wanted to install kopete-0.9.0 and downloaded it and extracted it. the first steps were fine but in ./configure i got this
checking build system type... i686-pc-linux-gnu
checking host system type... i686-pc-linux-gnu
checking target system type... i686-pc-linux-gnu
checking for a BSD-compatible install... /usr/bin/install -c
checking for -p flag to install... yes
checking whether build environment is sane... yes
checking for gawk... gawk
(blablablabla).....
(blablablabla)....
.(blablablabla)....
(blablablabla)....
.....
.....
checking for X... configure: error: Can't find X includes. Please check your installation and add the correct paths!

how do i correct this?
 
Old 11-01-2004, 03:27 AM   #12
jschiwal
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One question was about uninstalling packages (tarballs).

It's a good idea to save the original somewhere, because often you can
uninstall the program by cd'ing to the source directory and typing:
make uninstall.

Before you try 'make install' or 'make uninstall' you need to su to root.

The distro's come with loads of software. There is a good chance that the software you are looking
for is already included as an RPM or DEB package.

The mirror sites often have 'Contrib' sections that include programs not included in the downloads.
 
Old 11-01-2004, 05:06 AM   #13
pranij
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hi jschiwal,

I tried doing as su but i still get the same thing. anyway, su shouldn't be required until "make install" isn't it?
and yes, i found that kde site has kopete0.8.0 rpm, and that was what i was using before. but i am looking for 0.9.0 because i cannot sign in in yahoo with the older one. i tried searching rpm for the newer one but could not find it. also i want to familiarise myself about installing and installing programs in linux.

pranij.
 
Old 11-01-2004, 09:40 AM   #14
jschiwal
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That is correct. You don't need to be the root user until before the 'make install' step. This is because this step will copy files into protected directories, such as /usr/bin, /usr/lib, and copy the manpages as well.

I mentioned it because it was left out of one of the responses.

Because uninstalling the software (make uninstall) will remove the files added earlier, you need to be the root user then also.

Be careful that the libraries installed are not later depended on by later installations. Another reason to hold on to the source.

An rpm package will take care of dependencies. Some people use a program which performs the first 2 steps and then produces an rpm package. Then they use rpm or the distro's installation program to install the software. This keeps the information in the rpm database current.
 
Old 11-01-2004, 10:15 AM   #15
secesh
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wow, i see there is plenty of help here, and i only skimmed all the replies, but i saw mention to extraction that wasn't complete, so:

notes on extraction--
a tar.gz or .tgz
--these have had two compressions applied - tar, and gzip (GNU zip? -- no idea)

you can extract these in one step by running
Code:
tar -zxvf /path/to.tar.gz
tar.bz2
--same idea, different final compression -- you'll need bunzip2 to reveal the tar archive.
Code:
bunzip2 /path/to.tar.bz2
tar -xvf /path/to.tar
those are the most common archives, check the man pages for explination of options, etc.
 
  


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