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Old 02-19-2009, 01:26 PM   #1
QueenZ
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How can firefox run without installing?


Did you guys know that you don't have to install firefox to run it??

I just went to this website:
http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html

Downloaded it and it downloaded firefox-3.1b2.tar.bz2 then i used Ark to extract it on my desktop and it made firefox folder, then i opened firefox shell script that i found inside and it launched firefox..

The question is.. how can it be?? Doesn't firefox need to be installed? How about all dependencies and stuff?? This is so weird..
 
Old 02-19-2009, 01:29 PM   #2
acid_kewpie
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no, that's pretty normal. there aren't many dependencies as firefox is fairly chunky and brings it all along with it. installers just put files in certain places, doesn't change the app at all.
 
Old 02-19-2009, 01:31 PM   #3
serafean
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Libraries are available system-wide, and your user can run any binaries he has enough permissions for -> all binaries have access to libraries installed on the system.
 
Old 02-19-2009, 01:32 PM   #4
ronlau9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenZ View Post
Did you guys know that you don't have to install firefox to run it??

I just went to this website:
http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html

Downloaded it and it downloaded firefox-3.1b2.tar.bz2 then i used Ark to extract it on my desktop and it made firefox folder, then i opened firefox shell script that i found inside and it launched firefox..

The question is.. how can it be?? Doesn't firefox need to be installed? How about all dependencies and stuff?? This is so weird..
Not really installed , you just run it in youŕe own home dir.
It is a rather a old trick
 
Old 02-19-2009, 01:33 PM   #5
Quakeboy02
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I think Microsoft has gotten a lot of us into this "it has to be installed" mindset, due to their registry system. We don't need that in Linux. There is no registry. Linux packages usually use a .rc file and/or some hidden directory within your login path. With Firefox, you usually have to have the correct version of libstdc installed, but that's about it.
 
Old 02-19-2009, 01:51 PM   #6
QueenZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quakeboy02 View Post
I think Microsoft has gotten a lot of us into this "it has to be installed" mindset, due to their registry system. We don't need that in Linux. There is no registry. Linux packages usually use a .rc file and/or some hidden directory within your login path. With Firefox, you usually have to have the correct version of libstdc installed, but that's about it.
Are you saying that we don't install software on linux?
 
Old 02-19-2009, 01:54 PM   #7
acid_kewpie
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it all depends what "install" means to you. Applications are integrated into the filesystem and DE menus etc..., so I would call that installation quite comfortably.
 
Old 02-19-2009, 01:59 PM   #8
arizonagroovejet
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To me something is installed if you have to do something more than unpack a compressed file to use it. E.g if it's an rpm or deb package then you have to install it. If there is a script to run that writes files in to various places throughout the file system then you're installing it. If all you're doing is downloading a .tar.gz file and unpacking it then you're not installing it.

I've seen people struggle with the concept that some software doesn't require any sort of installation process before you use it when I've explained it to them.
 
Old 02-19-2009, 02:14 PM   #9
Quakeboy02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arizonagroovejet View Post
To me something is installed if you have to do something more than unpack a compressed file to use it. E.g if it's an rpm or deb package then you have to install it. If there is a script to run that writes files in to various places throughout the file system then you're installing it. If all you're doing is downloading a .tar.gz file and unpacking it then you're not installing it.

I've seen people struggle with the concept that some software doesn't require any sort of installation process before you use it when I've explained it to them.
That pretty much says it all.
 
Old 02-19-2009, 02:15 PM   #10
pixellany
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It seems to me that "install" means to put the SW somewhere where the system can find it and load it into memory. The only thing that makes it complicated is when said SW also requires a bunch of other files to be installed---what we lovingly call "dependencies".

So FF has minimal dependencies----therefor it's easy to install.
 
Old 02-19-2009, 02:23 PM   #11
Quakeboy02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
It seems to me that "install" means to put the SW somewhere where the system can find it and load it into memory. The only thing that makes it complicated is when said SW also requires a bunch of other files to be installed---what we lovingly call "dependencies".

So FF has minimal dependencies----therefor it's easy to install.
I had totally forgotten the issue of desktop integration when I made my post. If a package only needs to be unpacked to run, then OK, maybe that's a simple installation. OTOH, if there needs to be some integration with gnome/kde/whatever then more work needs to be done: both to put it into the menus, and remove it when you uninstall. Maybe we can call this a more complex installation?
 
Old 02-19-2009, 02:54 PM   #12
farslayer
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Have you ever looked at http://portableapps.com/ ? in this instance the apps are for Windows, but it's still amazing all the applications you can run from a thumb drive with no installation required.

there are several project creeping in to do the same for native Linux apps as well..
http://www.portools.com/
 
Old 02-19-2009, 02:56 PM   #13
DragonSlayer48DX
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenZ View Post
I just went to this website:
http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html

Downloaded it and it downloaded firefox-3.1b2.tar.bz2 then i used Ark to extract it on my desktop and it made firefox folder, then i opened firefox shell script that i found inside and it launched firefox..
So, you made a successful manual installation... Cool!

Cheers
 
Old 02-19-2009, 03:01 PM   #14
DragonSlayer48DX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
It seems to me that "install" means to put the SW somewhere where the system can find it and load it into memory.
My thoughts, exactly.

Strapping the app to the core of the OS (like Windows) is just asinine.

Cheers
 
Old 02-19-2009, 04:24 PM   #15
frieza
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonslayer48dx View Post
My thoughts, exactly.

Strapping the app to the core of the OS (like Windows) is just asinine.

Cheers
exactly, in windows, dos and linux/unix (more so in command line applications) there is the path, which is a list of directoreis that is searched for executables when you issue a command that is not internal to the shell, failing that it will give you an error, 'installing' simply means placing the binaries in said path, however many linux applications can be unpacked to a local directory and executed from that directory, 'installing' in linux is mostly for making something globally available to all users.
 
  


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