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Old 02-04-2004, 03:19 PM   #1
gacl
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Question "I can't fork a decompressor"


Hi,

I installed Mandrake 9.2 and I wanted to modify my keyboard. So then I downloaded the Xkeycaps program but when I tried to decompress it with Ark I got the following error message: "I can't fork a decompressor". I would greatly appreciate any help. Thanks.

Gus
 
Old 02-04-2004, 07:11 PM   #2
hw-tph
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Ark? We used that for compression on BBS systems back in the 80'ies and I have a hard time believing it has made its way back, so I assume you're talking about some sort of GUI frontend for decompressors?

Anyhow, what kind of file is it?

If it's a .tar.gz file you can decompress it using tar xfvz filename.tar.gz
If it's a .tar.bz2 file you can decompress it using tar xfvj filename.tar.bz2
If it's a .zip file you can decompress it using unzip filename.zip

Hope that gets you started. If you get errors doing these commands they will probably be more verbal and helpful that the one you got. My tip is that you haven't got the suitable decompression program installed.


Håkan
 
Old 02-05-2004, 12:20 PM   #3
gacl
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Smile It worked but...

Thank you so much. The first command worked, but I have no idea what to do now to get the program to work. I had been using Windows before and I am just getting familiar with Mandrake 9.2. The "read me" file says: "To build, do the usual: xmkmf ; make ; make install ; make install.man". But I have no idea what the "usual" is. Thanks for your help.
 
Old 02-05-2004, 06:01 PM   #4
hw-tph
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Well, the "usual" is pretty much what it says. In the directory that (probably ) was created when you untarred the archive there are a set of files that you will need to install the program.

1. xmkmf - This creates a Makefile from an IMakefile. More on that below.

2. make is a program that reads Makefiles, which are plain text files with a weird syntax that tells make what to compile and how. Running make in a directory where there is a Makefile with result in make reading the Makefile and trying to follow the instructions as best as it can. make can see that in order to do one thing, such as compile this-or-that source file it first needs to compile some other file.

3. make install. "install" is in this case (and in most cases) a target in the Makefile. make will look at what needs to be done to accomplish this target. It usually involves copying the files created during compilation to various locations on your hard drive, usually in the /usr/local tree (where locally built software is meant to be installed) - the program file itself to /usr/local/bin, config files to /usr/local/etc or to /etc, shared stuff (documentation, icons, images and so on) to /usr/local/share.

4. make install.man This is not too common. It's just another make target, probably only copying man pages (documentation) to the proper locations. Type man make to see what a manual page looks like. There is documentation for most commands on a Linux system in this form and it's very useful. To quit browsing the man page simply press the Q character on your keyboard.


Actually, this is not the most common way of installing programs from source. Usually you first run a script called configure in the root directory of the software package you downloaded instead of xmkmf. This is done by typing ./configure. The leading dot and slash indicates that the program/script you want to run exists in this very directory (a single dot refers to the current directory, two dots refers to the parent directory). Configure scripts looks through what you have installed and if you have the required software and libraries needed to build the particular piece of software you have downloaded.

In order to be able to do all of the above - install software from source - you will have a fully functional development chain installed. This is often installed by default by most distributions but it's sometimes omitted, but all distributions supply it in one way or another. You will for instance need gcc - the GNU Compiler Collection, make, and an assortment of libraries.


Håkan
 
  


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