Var2, you need to be more explicit on what the program you are trying to install is. First, check in the Fedora installer whether the same program is available as a package. One way to install a downloaded RPM package is to use the rpm program in the shell.
You need to be the root user to install an rpm package, so you need to "su" to root, or use "sudo". Sudo is a program to run a single command as root. It, sudo, does need to be set up first to let you do it.
example installation of an rpm package using rpm:
rpm -Uhv package-version.rpm
I prefer using the "U" option (update) rather than the one for install, in case the package is already installed.
If the program you downloaded ended with .gz, it may be a tarball, or it could be a compressed installation program. Firefox and java may be the latter, but the former is most common. Tar stands for "T
chive", and is similar to "zip" in that you can archive several files and directories into a single file. The .gz extension indicates that "gzip" was used to compress the archive.
- Download the program to a directory where you have full read/write/execute access. I created a subdirectory in my home directory called downloads that I use for this purpose.
- cd to the download directory
- Expand the tarball; e.g. "tar -xvzf package.gz". The "x" option expands the archive into a directory by the same name sans the extension.
- cd into the new directory. Example: cd package/
- List the contents of the directory; "ls". There probably is a "README" file and an "INSTALL" file, which may contain important instructions.
- If there is a file called "configure" this is script that examines your system and produces a custom "Makefile" for your particular system. It is sometimes a good idea to first run "./configure --help" to learn of any special options to the "configure" program which enables additional features.
- Now you can produce the Makefile I mentioned. Enter "./configure". If you noticed any options that you want to add, add them after the command.
- compile the program with "make".
- Now install the program with "make install"
- You are done, but sometimes you want to run a non-default target to produce print worthy documentation from the "info" source. This can sometimes be done with "make ps" or "make pdf" command. If the package installs documentation you can read with the "info" command, it probably has these targets.
- One of the targets will reverse the process and uninstall the program. "make uninstall". So you might want to keep this directory, or perhaps backup the original tarball so you can uninstall it later.
For a few files you download, you will end up with a single file, which is an installer program. This may be more like your experience installing some programs from windows. A tip off is when the extracted file ends with a .bin extension.
- Download the file to your download directory.
- Extract the file: "tar -xvzf filename.gz"
- The extracted file looks like "filename.bin", so the next step is to make the file executable. "chmod +x filename"
- Run the installation program: "./filename.bin
If the package you downloaded ends with a .tgz extension, it may have been packaged for Slackware. It would be best if you went back to the web site and downloaded the correct version.
Also, you may want to search for the same program on the http://rpm.pbone.net
web site. You can narrow your search for your particular distribution version. This site has a handy feature where it can check for any needed dependencies, and will provide links where you can get them.
If the file you downloaded ends with the .bz extension instead, it used a different compression program "bzip". To uncompress this archive use "tar -xvjf filename.bz" instead.
When using the tar command, the -f option needs to be listed last. It has a mandatory argument of the filename. Also, the tar command was initially written before the convention of using a dash before options, so the dash is optional.
"tar xvzf filename.gz" would also work.
You may have noticed that the "./configure" program starts with "./" while "make install" doesn't. The make command is a program that already exists on your system. The "./" characters is how you run a program in the current directory.
An alternative means of starting a "filename.bin" type installation program is to run "sh ./filename.bin". You don't need to make the file executable first with "chmod +x filename.bin". Suppose that an installation program is on a CDROM disc. You would run it this way because you can't use "chmod" on a file that is on a read-only disc.