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I've only recently installed Ubuntu alongside Windows XP and having problems installing software with the tar.gz file extension I can extract the files but dont have a clue how to install the program, I assume I have to type some commands in the terminal window but being a windows user for so long I find this difficult to understand as any software for windows comes with a setup file that only involves a double click and it's installed which seem so much easier, I'm not comparing one with the other I understand Linux is different and I'm not knocking it clearly it's my lack of knowledge that's the problem but I'm keen to learn as i like using it.
Generally, after you unzip and untar the archive, this is the routine procedure: cd to the new directory, then view the README files and what not. Then, if there is a configuration script it will generally be something like typing this './configure'. It will go through the configuration process. Then, follow that with the command 'make', and after that's done... 'make install'... That's the general process of compiling a program. Make install moves the files to the proper location in the file system. You should then be able to run the command like any other.
For more help... search for 'Compiling linux programs'... That will probably yield better results than 'installing'.
Schneidz gave you the correct answer. In case it was too concise to understand, I'll explain a bit more.
Originally Posted by Emegra
having problems installing software with the tar.gz file extension
That is the hard way to install software on Ubuntu. You might use that hard way for really obscure software that you can't get through the package manager. An expert might also use that hard way to get a version much older or newer than the libraries of the distribution (something a beginner has neither reason nor skill to do).
For ordinary software, learn to use Ubuntu's package manager. You can get almost any software easily via package manager that you could install with difficulty from a .tar.gz file.
I'm not certain which GUI package managers are available in the version of Ubuntu you have. I really like Synaptic, which is available in at least some versions of Ubuntu. All the available UI's for package management in Ubuntu are just user interfaces for the same underlying package management system. So the results are the same and only the UI varies.
There are also a few command line (non GUI) UI's for package management. The commonly used one is apt. I expect you wouldn't like apt as well as something like synaptic for your ordinary use. But if an expert needs to give you clear instruction on how to install something, it is easier to tell you exactly how to do it with apt vs. a GUI.
Ramkatral told you the basics of how to install software from a .tar.gz file. But there are details that often vary across packages and there are some pitfalls even when those basic steps are exactly right. The whole process is aimed at users who know more about Linux than you do (for them it is no longer hard to install from .tar.gz, but it remains better to install from the package manager).
If you post name/description (maybe URL) of the specific software that you want to install that you can't get through the package manager, I expect someone would give you more details on what you need to do. But if you are trying to install from .tar.gz file some software better installed by the package manager, you're really making a mistake and anyone providing more detailed instructions is just encouraging you to make that mistake.
There are 2 programs I'm trying to install one is media companion the other is xnview, I've looked for them both in the software centre and neither seem to be there, I downloaded a program called puddletag (a mp3 tagging program) which downloaded as a .deb file when I right clicked on the file I had the option to install wih Ubuntu software centre so I'm guessing that it was already available in the software centre and I didn't really need to download it from elsewhere,so I'm assuming that if i download a program that is already in the software centre it will download as a .deb file (please correct me if I'm wrong) but with media companion & xnview I dont get that option so I presume they're not available in the software centre, I can get by without xnview as there are other alternatives I can use but I dont think there is an alternative for media companion, I understand that installing using the command line maybe outwith my capabilities but if someone was to explain step by step each command and if possible what each command is doing I'm willing to try as I'm keen to learn
downloaded as a .deb file when I right clicked on the file I had the option to install wih Ubuntu software centre so I'm guessing that it was already available in the software centre and I didn't really need to download it from elsewhere
That is not necessarily correct. The software center knows how to find many .deb files in Ubuntu and Debian repositories online. It also knows how to install .deb files whether it found them itself or not.
So if a version of that .deb file were available from some repository that was enabled or could have been enabled in the software center, then it might have been easier/better to install it from a repository. But when you tell the package manager to install from a .deb you had downloaded yourself, it does what you told it to do independent of whether it could have found a version of that .deb itself.
Installing from a .deb you found yourself is not generally as problem free as having the package manager find it. But as you have discovered, it is easier than installing from tar.gz for software the package manager cannot find.
As for your more important question on "media companion" and xnview, I don't have time to look into that now. Probably someone else who already knows or quickly looks into it will answer soon. If not, I'll try to get back to you.
Thank you for sharing ideas and information that have sense, I really appreciate your postings. this will help a lot of people who have the same problem. hope to see more helpful posting in the future.
my fedora install came with some image viewers; under 'applications -> graphics' i have: gthumb, eye of gnome (eog), shotwell, imagemagick (display), gimp, ... have you tried the pre-installed programs to see if they fit your needs ?
also, does xbmc fit your needs for a media scraper (i believe it has imdb/ tvdb built-in).
There is no single way to install software from an archive such as .tar.gz. It depends on how the distributor set it up. Sometimes all you have to do is extract the files, and everything is ready to go. Mozilla distributes several packages this way, including Firefox and Thunderbird. Sometimes there is a binary .run file, which you run to do the installation. Sometimes you have to compile the source, starting with running the configure file. You have to read the documentation to find out how to install it, whatever the configuration.
So far as I can tell, the download gives you C# source code and a csproj file without any more to help you with compiling or installing it.
First you would need to install the correct mono package(s) from your package manager, then use mono to build "media companion". I've never used mono, so I can't even guess at more detailed instructions.
If you want to proceed with that, you might search LQ for threads about mono or start a new thread to ask for mono cook-book instructions (how someone who isn't a C# programmer can compile and use someone else's C# source code in mono).
Typical tar.gz files for free software will be a little more user friendly than this one. But the range of what you might find in a free software tar.gz is quite large. Common rules exist, but there are exceptions (like this one) where none of the common rules apply.
Post #5 of this thread http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1689980
tells you to get XnView as an .rpm file (what Red Hat based Linux distributions use instead of .deb files) and tells you how to get and use the Ubuntu tool for installing from .rpm files.
I don't know if that is the best way to get XnView, but it is a way and probably not too difficult.
You can install and use 32-bit applications on 64-bit Linux, but that can be slightly trickier in a Debian based Linux (such as Ubuntu) than in Red Hat based Linux. Translating a 32-bit .rpm for Ubuntu might result in a .deb that is only correct in 32-bit Ubuntu and needs some manual steps during install to make it OK for 64 bit Ubuntu.
Thanks to everyone for their input it seems the more information I get the more questions arise and the more convinced I'm becoming that I'm just out of my depth but as long as people are prepared to indulge in my ignorance and give their time to help me I'll keep plugging away, regarding the RPM thing is there a tool in the software centre that will allow me to install RPM files directly without any compiling etc ?,
regarding media companion it looks like I couldn't have chosen a more difficult example so it looks like I'll have to give up on that until at least I have a better fundamental understanding of source code & compiling etc if I ever do
I agree with Schneidz there are other alternatives to xnview it's just that I have used it in my windows installation for a while and can't see past it but I would be happy to try other alternatives
As far as XBMC is concerned that is the whole point of the execise, currently I have XBMC installed on an old xbox I softmodded and connected to my TV & sound system and stream media from a freenas server I built from an old pc, I download movies mainly childrens films for my grand-daughter convert them so they're all the same format then store them on the server as a collection, media companion is important because it's written to compliment XBMC and gives me all the fanart, posters movie info etc so one without the other isn't quite the same and I know of no other software that can do what media companion can do, so in a nutshell I'm simply trying to do in Linux what I can already do in windows because there is so much I like about Linux and i enjoy trying to learn new things, like JFK once said about going to the moon "I'm not doing this because it's easy I'm doing this because it's hard".
Regarding my version of Ubunto it's 11.04 I know this is gonna make me sound like a hopeless case but I honestly dont know if it's 32 bit or 64 bit or how I find out.
Anyway thanks to everyone for your help so far I'm not sure if I've addressed everyones questions I had so many replies (which I'm very thankful for) but I'll go through all the posts more thoroughly and experiment further and any other suggestions of advice anyone has for me would be appreciated