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Distribution: Debian 4.0, Ubuntu 6.10, Ubuntu Server 6.06
My advice for a windows user is this:
1. Try Knoppix, a live cd version of Linux, so you can try it out and see if you like it before doing anything drastic. This makes no changes to your hard drive and current windows installation.
2. When you're ready to make the switch... I've had good experiences with Debian and Mandrake Linux. First of all, Debian is incredibly easy if you want to install things. You just type one line into the terminal window and it'll find all of the dependencies and whatnot for you. I now run Mandrake 10 - whenever I need software, chances are it's somewhere on the three discs. You just select the program from a list and place the correct CD in the drive, in a minute you've got it ready to go. Of course, this doesn't help you with new or obscure programs that aren't in this list... still not a big problem. I find that nearly all of my software needs are satisfied with the three discs that come with Mandrake (with the notable exception of Firefox!!!).
No matter which distribution you use, or which problems you run into, just remember the url of this forum! You'll be able to work through nearly any problem with the helpful people here.
Correct.. binaries come precompiled, and they decide where they install. Some have options on where they put themselves, but most are written to install in their default locations for the distro you are using.
i know that progs "make install" their libraries and dependencies to creapy locations that shouldn't be touched like /usr/bin and /usr/lib, but the program itself, where could i install it? /usr/local? /usr/etc or just home?
RPM files will automatically install where they were meant to go by the packager.
Code that you ./configure and make (compiled) if no errors can be run from the directory at which they were compiled. Usually you will find a file named after the software that can be run by typing ./namehere . Where the ./ tells the machine to find it within the current working directory. If you were to su and as root type make install, it will copy all the necessary files usually to a directory at where the system is commonly set up to search and find those executable files such as the /usr/bin directory. If /usr/bin is within the search "path" of the operating system, any executable within that directory can be run from any working directory in a terminal without using the ./ first. So, in essence, you could test the software in the directory you compiled it, or use it like I commonly do within my home directory for some softwares. The real downfall I have found to the different types of installation methods and packaging is that when trying to compile certain softwares. I often have had errors at where the software to compile cannot see or work along rpm based type. I plan to try other distributions for ease reasons. Any way, hope this helps some.
Wow, that was a nice clear, consise answer....So let me get this straight to make sure i am not stupid and got it wrong.
I can compile it anywhere maybe /temp (or a folder for its source ??) and then the program is in the folder. You can run it from there or you can sudo and make install and then the system will copy the program into a folder where the programs knows where it is. Then the system knows where the program is. And by typing the name in a terminal, can run it.
Thanks Synonymy !
Last edited by poonaninja; 11-02-2004 at 11:43 PM.
Ok, I install all my compiled programs (those from .bz2 or .tar) into the /opt directory. It will put the relevant files where they need to go. An example:
say you download xxx.gz to your home directory.
mv xxx.gz /opt
tar xzvf xxx.gz
cd xxx(directory created when the file was uncompressed, run ls if you don't know what it's called)
(enter root password)
make install (this is the step will install all the pertinent parts to the various directories /etc, /usr/, etc.)
Don't put anything in /tmp. Now depending on what distro you use, they can install them to different spots. Keep in mind when that when using certain distros, use their native tools to install things. Fedora core use yum. Slackware use installpkg or pkgtool. Debian use apt (this has been ported to other distro like Suse and Fedora). Gentoo has portage. Mandrake use urpmi.
Not really an installer. It will install the packages and install the proper dependencies. It does work in the same capacity. There no real equivalents as far a file system hierarchy goes between linux and windows. They are just 2 differnt philosphies. If you want to go with debian, take a look at MEPIS. There is a very recent review of it at http://www.desktoplinux.com/articles/AT3135712364.html
use that as a guide and get a copy of distro. Do you know how to do that? If not, you can buy them from the Mepis site: www.mepis.org
As always check and use the forums to your advantage.