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Old 12-18-2006, 09:17 AM   #1
narayanaras
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Is it possible to use a GUI to compile new software (Source code)?


Hi!

I am a Linux newbie (but Windows veteran), trying to come to terms with SuSE SLED 10 (using it in dual boot mode with Windows XP, SP-2).

Windows XP spoils you with its plug-n-play experience. All new software can be installed with just a double-click.

In contrast, Linux forces the user to compile, as most applications are available only in source code form (not as ready-made RPMs).

I went through the books, which show only command line approach, which is broadly 3-step process (configure, make, make install)

Simple as it may sound to the veterans, this is quite a trial-and-error effort for the newbies. See this for example:
http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/lin...urce-code.html

Speaking for myself, I do not want to waste time resolving these issues (mostly by trial-and-error), which I can better spend on productive work related to MY line of work.

Linux programming is NOT part of my skill-set; so I do not need to enhance/sharpen it by practicing such compile operations.

In fact, I do not see the point in each user spending the same effort doing this; especially when he is not a programmer. That is like having to learn carpentry to make your house, even when you are, say, a doctor; and will never use these carpentry skills in your life; other than to build the house.

Is there a GUI-based program (preferably a wizard-based program) that can install the application straight from its source code, and take care of all dependencies?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by narayanaras; 12-18-2006 at 09:33 AM.
 
Old 12-18-2006, 09:32 AM   #2
acid_kewpie
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most linux software of note *IS* available as an rpm. hav eyou not explored the yum repositories? you say that windows "spoils" you with a double click.. .that's not true is it? you have to find the software you want, go to a download site for it, find the versino you want, kill 17.5 popups and then run the installer. if you use yum, wrapped with gui tool if you wish, all you need to do is load one single program, navigate a single product tree. select the programs you want to install, as many as you want, and then click install. that then installs every program you chose, and you've not gon anywhere online to find them yourself at all. how is that possibly more difficult than M$'s approach?? of course there are exceptions, but the more popular software is available far far easier than under windows. many linux users *never* compile source code, because they have no need to.

//postumous oops... assumed fedora was being discussed, not sure why i thought that now...

Last edited by acid_kewpie; 12-18-2006 at 12:33 PM.
 
Old 12-18-2006, 11:48 AM   #3
battleaxe
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same as acid-kewpie

I have similar issues to the thread opener. Your answer assumes a knowledge of certain things... what is Yum. A repositoy is a library in English (a place to keep things) You give no examples of where this might be found ( OK I know how to Google, but speaking in this kind of shorthand is what puts folks off using what could be a very popular operating system). How do we wrap it in a gui tool, how long will this take. Why learn how to wrap Yum in a gui tool, when all I want to do is download and install something. what is an rpm, why do we need to learn a new language evey time we speak to a veteran linux user?

By the way, sorry about the rant. I have been attempting to learn how to use Linux in my very precious spare time for a few weeks, and the frustration deepens. All I want to do is download and install the latest version of Datavision, via the console if you like, but can i find the right commands?... No... On the readme file that comes with Datavision, it assumes you know how to download so that Konsole can see the file to unwrap the tarball... what the heck, I am close to giving up for another couple of years and making M$ even richer... Help us poor Windows user, don't malign us or take the Mickey, we just need a little patience from you to teach us what we cannot find already.
 
Old 12-18-2006, 12:07 PM   #4
narayanaras
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YUM repositories? I'm afraid I've not come across them. I am using the default YaST on SuSE. I thought YUM was specific to Red Hat!

Thanks for the lead: I'll definitely try them.

All I need a simple method to install the desired applications (and to locate updates of all the applications on my PC). I thought YaST was supposed to do that, but so far it has not found a single update. Probably a mistake on how I am using it; or how I am setting it up.

I am sorry if my post sounded like yet another "MS vs Linux" debate. It is not: I am trying my best to adopt to SuSE. But what I have faced in the beginning itself is simply overwhelming (For example, my printer, scanner and TV tuner card do not work with SuSE. In fact, after installing SuSE, my printer stopped working even with Windows. None of the books explains how to set up the firewall in "personal firewall" mode; on the same PC. I have to research each of these issues, because there is no easy step-by-step solution available.)

Although this community provides excellent support, the troubleshooting is slow and trial-and-error. Each day spent thus is a direct loss for me. I am sure all beginners would be in the same boat-- Each facing a different problem, depending upon his hardware.

Luckily Windows is still available (albeit, minus the printer); otherwise my entire setup would have been out of action for many days!

Many of the available RPMs are meant for older SuSE versions (e.g. 9.x) or for Fedora, etc. Being new to Linux, I am not sure how they will work with SLED 10. If I come across an issue, what should I doubt-- The incompatibility or my own lack of knowledge? As a beginner, this is another issue I am trying to grapple with.

I have made an honest effort to deal with this issue. I even downloaded scores of articles (including the "RPM 101", "Maximum RPM", "RPM HOWTO" etc.) But the sheer volume of the information is overwhelming. I would definitely welcome a GUI-based (or a wizard-based) application that simplifies this task.

So to start with, is there a YUM GUI that I can use? (And first of all, as an experienced Linux user, would you say YUM is better than YaST?)
 
Old 12-18-2006, 12:27 PM   #5
pixellany
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I wonder how many people harbor this misconception:
Quote:
Windows XP spoils you with its plug-n-play experience. All new software can be installed with just a double-click.
In contrast, Linux forces the user to compile, as most applications are available only in source code form (not as ready-made RPMs).
I think we are at the point where almost the opposite is true. The better repositories make it easier to find and install SW than anything Windows has---and you almost never have to compile any more.

It does depend on how the ask the question....
Is it easier to get SW and install it on Linux? YES!
Coming from the Windows or Mac world, can you always find the SW functionality you want? NO!
Are there some apps on Linux that are difficult to get going? YES!

Speaking of misconceptions: Two recent quotes from colleagues--college-educated and with some level of computer literacy:
  1. "Linux--Is there a GUI interface for it?"
  2. "Linux--yes, I have heard of it. I believe it is made by RedHat."
 
Old 12-18-2006, 01:03 PM   #6
battleaxe
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Ok now I have wasted another hour of my life downloading and installing Yum. It doeasnt seem to do anything that Yast doesn't do, and I am no nearer to downloading and installing datavision.

All Yum seems to do is look at what I have either on dvd or hd, there is no intuitive interface with the internet... is this what you mean by repositories? Some practical advice would help, even if it is only line by line commands for Konsole.

Last edited by battleaxe; 12-18-2006 at 01:08 PM.
 
Old 12-18-2006, 01:54 PM   #7
Vgui
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If you do end up going back to compiling software, I'd recommend a change to the ./configure, make process. Instead of doing make install, look up checkinstall (http://asic-linux.com.mx/~izto/checkinstall/).

Basically instead of letting make install throw the files all over the hard drive (which also means they'll be outside the package managers control), you can use checkinstall to create an RPM, and then use your normal Yum or Yast or whatever to install the RPM.
 
Old 12-18-2006, 03:57 PM   #8
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I am not 100% familiar with yast, but I did find this...

http://suseroot.com/installing-remov...stall=Download

It walks you through finding the rpm and installing it using yast.
 
Old 12-18-2006, 04:11 PM   #9
Netizen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by battleaxe
Your answer assumes a knowledge of certain things... what is Yum. A repositoy is a library in English (a place to keep things) You give no examples of where this might be found ( OK I know how to Google, but speaking in this kind of shorthand is what puts folks off using what could be a very popular operating system).
Yes, it assumes you know the basics of Linux and the particular distribution you are using. You didn't just start using Windows without some basics. Or were you born with an inherent knoweldge of Windows? It probably seems like that because you learned Windows first. The first time you sat down at a windows machine, I am sure you didn't know what an exe or dll file was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by battleaxe
what is an rpm, why do we need to learn a new language evey time we speak to a veteran linux user?
Because Linux is a different language than Windows. You wouldn't expect to go to Japan, only being able to speak French and think you could communicate properly just because both Japan and France are countries and you are trying to express the same ideas, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by battleaxe
By the way, sorry about the rant. I have been attempting to learn how to use Linux in my very precious spare time for a few weeks, and the frustration deepens. All I want to do is download and install the latest version of Datavision, via the console if you like, but can i find the right commands?... No... On the readme file that comes with Datavision, it assumes you know how to download so that Konsole can see the file to unwrap the tarball... what the heck, I am close to giving up for another couple of years and making M$ even richer... Help us poor Windows user, don't malign us or take the Mickey, we just need a little patience from you to teach us what we cannot find already.
We are more than happy to help. But at the same time, there are basics, the ABCs if you will, that you must know. Linux is not something you can take what you learned from Windows and apply it. Sure some concepts are the same, but its a different way of thinking and speaking. In my experience, the frustrations come from thinking Linux is the same as Windows. After all, they are both operating systems right? I personally believe the only way you are going to learn Linux is to forget what you learned from MS and Windows, and start fresh. Start at the beginning. After all you are learning a new language, and you wouldn't expect to be able to build proper sentences in Spanish just because you knew a few Spanish words and spoke English all your life, would you?

Last edited by Netizen; 12-18-2006 at 04:15 PM.
 
Old 12-18-2006, 05:30 PM   #10
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by battleaxe
All Yum seems to do is look at what I have either on dvd or hd, there is no intuitive interface with the internet... is this what you mean by repositories?
Repositories are mainly on the web--in servers. A distribution may have several different sites set up--eg one for mainstream, tested, things, and another for more bleeding-edge.
The package manager is typically configured to look at several servers when searching for a particular item.

I have come to recommend distros more based on the package manager and repositories. With this criteria, I now favor the Debian/Ubuntu/Mepis family.

Go to the web site for any of the top distros and see if you can find a link to the repositories so you can browse.
 
Old 12-18-2006, 09:02 PM   #11
narayanaras
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IMO finding Windows/Linux programs is not difficult at all: I use Wikipedia to search for a generic function, such as "PVR". It lists Windows AND Linux programs on the same page; and also has extremely useful feature comparison charts for many of the functions.

For Windows, there are scores of sites such as www.nonags.com, download.com.com, which provide categorized lists of software. They have the download links and link to home page for each software. I believe there are similar sites like softpedia which list Linux software.

In short, finding a software (for either Windows or Linux) is not an issue at all.

Secondly, popups are not an issue with Firefox.

Thirdly, reading up a bit to know the new terms is also part of a user's changeover strategy. So if we shirk that step, we will face problems each step of the way. And SuSE provides a nice set of manuals. So that's not the problem either.

But it is the LAST MILE which is so strenuous for a beginner in Linux. Knowing about something is one thing, and having to DO IT is quite another. (We know how a hen lays an egg. But can we lay an egg ourselves?) Well, compiling is more or less like that!
***
Coming back to the topic:

So is this YUM better at compiling (as compared to YaST), or does it provide links to larger repositories, or is it more intuitive to use? Or is it Yet another Source of Torture (YaST)?

And please let us have a URL from where to pick up a GUI-based YUM. (I do not want to wrap it in GUI myself).

***
BTW with YaST, why does the user have to enter links to each repository manually, especially when the openSuSE website already provides a list of several repositories? All the addresses could have been pre-loaded in YaST. And if that is not done because the repositories keep changing, then YaST could have provided a built-in link to OpenSuSE website, which in turn downloads the latest list of repositories. That could have made life much simpler for the user.

This is just an example of how Linux distros make users work hard unnecessarily!
***
Battleaxe,

Having done this exercise, let me help you in some ways:

There is a free downloadable pdf document, which explains Linux to a Windows user in familiar terms. http://theseoconsultant.com/suseblog...guide_ever.pdf

(It is just an introduction, though. Also, it is based on SuSE flavor of Linux.)

This page lists several repositories for SuSE:
http://en.opensuse.org/YaST_package_repository

I guess YUM repositories are similar. (Will post its URL here once I find them. Haven't got time now!)
 
  


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