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How do I install a program that comes as a .tar.gz file? I am running Ubuntu 9.04 on a Thinkpad T400. I know I should use the repositories, but they don't have the software I want. Thanks for your help.
That depends. First of all, extract the files using the archive manager to a directory of your choice. Once you have done that you should poke around the folder for a file called either "SETUP" of "INSTALL". If you are asked, open these files in the terminal and follow the instructions.
If you can't find a setup file, there is usually a command line way, but I'm not the one to ask about that!
Are you sure there isn't a .deb file to download? Most major vendors offer a tar.gz file, a .rpm and a .deb file.
Out of interest, which software is it? It may be that someone has installed the same software and may be able to offer more assistance.
After the important things were said above, let me review them to you:
1. Extract the files --tar.gz is like .zip or .rar files in windows: they are archives. EricTRA's instruction above is a simple untarring code.
2. If your archive contained source --you will cd into the directory and compile it, follow the sequence given by bret381 above.
3. If your archive contained a package --you will install it according to normal procedure in Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install /dir/*.deb (if I have remembered it still).
4. If your archive contained a script --say SETUP or INSTALL script you will only need to run it: sudo ./SETUP or ./INSTALL.
5. If your archive contained another script --you will still need to run it the same way in #4 but if "permission" complains you will set first an "executable" permission in the script: doing this: sudo chmod 775 ./scriptname.sh, then you may proceed to run it.
There are growing numbers of installation script types, forms and names today; you should be quick to identify them within the extracted directory. Python uses "setup.py", nvidia or ati uses "*.run" (am not sure if it still does today), etc.
It is best if you will post here what your archive contained for the package. In that way there are many people here to give you accurate instructions.
Thanks for your help. I got the tar unpackaged and found a readme which took me through the the rest of the install. Unfortunately it turned out to not be what I needed, once again. One day I'll find what I am looking for....