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Old 05-17-2009, 08:32 AM   #1
gael33
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Question installing tar.gz Frustrations


Firstly I would like to admit to not being very technically minded, but why is installing a tarball (gz) so damn difficult?
I have a couple of Ubuntu books with simple enough to read instructions but I still cannot install the tarballs ... is it me, or is it that different books give varying ways on how to install tarballs ... none of which I can get to work?
Normally I would stick with installing programs and dependencies with the package manager ... but not all things are in there and that's when the problems arise.
The number of times I (and other Newbies) have asked for help on this subject is far to often for it to be just user error, or Newbie error.
Question; Why has no one ever thought of creating an install manager that will simplify the installation process when dealing with tar.gz etc? Or, to make things really easy ... forget tar.gz altogether and bundle all the files in a .deb packet, is that so difficult?
I love my Ubuntu and I am relying less and less on Microsoft as I learn to use my OS, but please! do something with these tarballs before they drive us Newbies crazy

gael.
 
Old 05-17-2009, 08:36 AM   #2
Tinkster
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How about you tell people the error messages you get for
which tar-ball instead of venting? You have about 12000
packages in repositories; the thing that's "missing" is possibly
of not enough interest to enough people to be considered
for bundling up as a .deb.


Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 05-17-2009, 08:47 AM   #3
brianL
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What is difficult about this? In a terminal:
Code:
tar -xzvf filename.tar.gz
Then look in the resulting folder for README and INSTALL text files.
 
Old 05-17-2009, 09:00 AM   #4
pixellany
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gael;

I'll acknowledge the frustration but then point out that what you are seeing is a STRENGTH of Linux---not a weakness.

First, if you always use the package manager, the process of installing new SW is simpler and more powerful than on Windows.

Second, when you cannot find something with your package manager, there are numerous methods and formats for installing----this simply reflects the diversity of the development community. If you tried to impose some sort of standard on this process...

a) It would not work.

b) It would stifle creativity.

Finally, something like .tar.gz is simply an archiving format. As already suggested above, it's what's inside that counts.

I think there is now actually a broader range of SW for Linux than for Windows. Add this to the fact that the most common stuff is easier to install than on Windows. But if all this doesn't "float your boat", then by all means use Windows (or a Mac).
 
Old 05-17-2009, 02:30 PM   #5
knudfl
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Package count in Ubuntu's :

9.04 : 26,000 packages

8.10 : 28,000 packages

All the apps, you can imagine, and then some.
.....
 
Old 05-18-2009, 02:38 AM   #6
gael33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
What is difficult about this? In a terminal:
Code:
tar -xzvf filename.tar.gz
Then look in the resulting folder for README and INSTALL text files.
gael33@gael33-desktop:~$ tar -xzvf bluez-4.39.tar.gz
tar: bluez-4.39.tar.gz: Cannot open: No such file or directory
tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now
tar: Child returned status 2
tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors
gael33@gael33-desktop:~$ sudo tar -xzvf bluez-4.39.tar.gz
[sudo] password for gael33:
tar: bluez-4.39.tar.gz: Cannot open: No such file or directory
tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now
tar: Child returned status 2
tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors
gael33@gael33-desktop:~$

Thank you for trying to help, but as you can see ... even with following your instructions it still doesn't work.
 
Old 05-18-2009, 02:58 AM   #7
billymayday
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Are you sure it's there? Try a simple "ls -l"
 
Old 05-18-2009, 02:59 AM   #8
gael33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkster View Post
How about you tell people the error messages you get for
which tar-ball instead of venting? You have about 12000
packages in repositories; the thing that's "missing" is possibly
of not enough interest to enough people to be considered
for bundling up as a .deb.


Cheers,
Tink
Thanks Tink for your response.
Firstly, I'm not venting ... I'm to old in the tooth for that
Secondly, I've bought a bluetooth adapter which works just fine in Windows but not in Ubuntu 8.10 and was advised to download the latest drivers (bluez-4.39) from the site. This I did and they naturally downloaded as a tarball (gz). I then went into my various "books for learners" (of which I am one) and followed the instructions to install. After several attempts I thought maybe the download was faulty and so downloaded it again from a different site ... the same result. I was by now pretty pissed off and very frustrated ... but I tried very hard not to "vent" in my posting and apologize if that is what I did.

Thanks, gael.
 
Old 05-18-2009, 03:00 AM   #9
billymayday
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Just in case you missed my post above.
 
Old 05-18-2009, 03:21 AM   #10
colucix
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Code:
gael33@gael33-desktop:~$ tar -xzvf bluez-4.39.tar.gz
tar: bluez-4.39.tar.gz: Cannot open: No such file or directory
This is not a problem with source installation. This just states there is no file called bluez-4.39.tar.gz in the current directory (as billymayday already pointed out). So first locate the directory where you've downloaded the file, use ls to be sure the file is in your current directory, then try to extract the tar.gz again. Be patient and try to solve one problem at a time.
 
Old 05-18-2009, 05:11 AM   #11
brianL
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Create a Downloads directory. In the Terminal:
Code:
mkdir Downloads
Then arrange, in Firefox's Preferences, for that to be the destination for downloaded files. Then all you need to do is:
Code:
cd Downloads
tar -xzvf filename.tar.gz

Last edited by brianL; 05-18-2009 at 05:13 AM.
 
Old 05-19-2009, 03:04 AM   #12
gael33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
Create a Downloads directory. In the Terminal:
Code:
mkdir Downloads
Then arrange, in Firefox's Preferences, for that to be the destination for downloaded files. Then all you need to do is:
Code:
cd Downloads
tar -xzvf filename.tar.gz
I managed to follow these instructions and now I have a folder called Downloads. I even got the tarballs unzipped in the folder by closely following your clear guide ... all I need now is the instructions on how to install to the system the two programs (bluez-4.39 and obexd-0.12).
I do appreciate all the help that you guys are giving me, and I am making notes on these procedures for future reference.
thanks,
gael.
 
Old 05-19-2009, 03:32 AM   #13
billymayday
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Inside the directory created by unzipping, there are probably two files (INSTALL and README) that you should read.
 
Old 05-19-2009, 04:31 AM   #14
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gael33 View Post
Firstly I would like to admit to not being very technically minded, but why is installing a tarball (gz) so damn difficult?
I have a couple of Ubuntu books with simple enough to read instructions but I still cannot install the tarballs ... is it me, or is it that different books give varying ways on how to install tarballs ... none of which I can get to work?
Normally I would stick with installing programs and dependencies with the package manager ... but not all things are in there and that's when the problems arise.
The number of times I (and other Newbies) have asked for help on this subject is far to often for it to be just user error, or Newbie error.
The fact is that tarballs are not meant to be used by newbies, unless they are willing to investigate, suffer and -more important- read the documentation. If you download a source package then you need to compile it, it doesn't really matter if it's a deb or an srpm, you will still need to be able to read the docs and compile it, if not you are screwed no matter the package format. It would be the same in windows: if you get the sources then you need a proper compiler and the ability to at least follow the instructions in the documentation to compile and install it. It's just that windows users usually don't worry about that, and if something exceed the "click next" method, they just download another alternative.

When you download a tarball you need to uncompress it. After that, look for documentation. Tipical files to find it are INSTALL or README, explicit enough. If you can't find docs inside the tarball, then visit the home site and read the FAQ and/or installation documents, instead of randomly go googling around for instructions that have not been made for that package. Sometimes you can find mailing lists or forums in the programmer's site where you can ask for any eventual problem, or even find sticky posts with the regular installation procedure.

Quote:
Question; Why has no one ever thought of creating an install manager that will simplify the installation process when dealing with tar.gz etc? Or, to make things really easy ... forget tar.gz altogether and bundle all the files in a .deb packet, is that so difficult?
But they did... that's why deb exist at all. The question you should be doing instead is: "why no one has made a deb package for this software?"

tar.gz's are like zip files, they are not package formats in the same sense that rpm or deb, and they can have anything inside. You could standardize them and make your own custom tar.gz packages, like slackware do. But that doesn't mean that the millions of tarball that there are available in the internet are going to disappear to let you the exclusivity to use that format for your own purposes.

I know it can be a bit exasperating at first, but I don't think that there's any inherent problem with these packages. Regular users should be using binary packages for their distro.

PS. I find it dificult to believe that there are not versions of bluez on the ubuntu repositories (though I am no ubuntu user...). Are you sure you haven't missed it? Maybe it's bluez-utils, bluez-tools or whatever else. Search for bluez or bluetooh in the package manager an look if you get something.

Last edited by i92guboj; 05-19-2009 at 04:34 AM.
 
Old 05-19-2009, 05:29 AM   #15
brianL
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If you're new to all this, and you're using Ubuntu or Debian, and you want a particular bit of software, open Synaptic Package Manager and browse through it to see if what you want is readily available.
 
  


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