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Redhat, Suse, Debian all have GUI applications similar to "Windows Add/Remove Programs". Each one has a search feature, so if your looking for an FTP program, just search ftp and look at the description. They'll all do the dependancy checks and download/install the software for you.
What distro are you using? In Suse, once it is set up, any package can be installed with Yast or Smart with just a few clicks, unless it is not available as a binary for Suse. In that case you are going to have to do the configure-make-meke install thing. Skype is simple to install because it comes with all the library files that it needs to run. Most things are more complicated than that.
In todays distros, you have a choice of synaptic, which is used by Ubuntu and PClinuxOS. Suse has YAST, etc... it's really easier to install apps on linux nowwww a days that it is to install apps on MS really. No Lie, no exageration. just browse the rrepository, click the apps you want, apply and there yo go. no disc's . just like that most of the time
Windows is Windows -- on any windows computer I can install and configure the apps I like to make it my very own system to my taste
But on linuxes, apps install differently on different distros...it seems like a big mess
If you prefer Windows theres nothing stopping you using it. Of course apps will install slightly differently on different distrobutions, they are different operating systems. Linux isn't the whole OS, linux is just the kernel. A "working linux" can range from the entire GNU/Linux + extras that you see with Suse and Fedora to a kernel with a built-in initrd and statically compiled busybox using a grand total of about 700KB.
You can't compare linux apples and linux oranges with Windows pears and Windows grapefruits, if you try you're just going to come up confused.
i struggled with frostwire and jave for about 2 days on and off before i got them installed correctly. i googled my butt off and searched this forum. after finally several newbie confusing instructions and pulling out my hair i finally found the links here that walked me through with small explanations of each step and gave me more understanding of apt-get. i'm on ubuntu dapper drake. easy installs are fine if your a drone. but when you work for something you appreciate it more and you learn as well. i know more about computers now since i've been on linux than i did on windows. windows lets your mind go numb and linux makes it work and wakes you up. now i understand this lq in general. try it yourself and research before you ask for help. there is a method to that madness and i'm glad for it.
. easy installs are fine if your a drone. but when you work for something you appreciate it more and you learn as well. i know more about computers now since i've been on linux than i did on windows. windows lets your mind go numb and linux makes it work and wakes you up. now i understand this lq in general. try it yourself and research before you ask for help. there is a method to that madness and i'm glad for it.
While it's great that you found it a great learning experience to work in linux, calling those who don't learn, or use a pc the same way, a drone or any other name really isn't productive or conducive to people trying new things. Much of it has to do with how comfortable each person is with the computer.
What it does is create the image that people who use this OS are elitists and we know that's not the truth. most people who use linux and use the forums are very friendly and helpful people. As they say though, it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.
Don't be a bad apple. Keep our minds open to other peoples learning differences and help those you feel you can or want to help. but, like mom always used to say, if you have nothing good to say, then it's best you don't say anyhing at all.
apologies. i was not trying to downtalk or be a bad apple. i just made a poor attempt at getting my thoughts across. yes drone was a poor choice of wording. let me try again: "how much do you forget when you just hit setup.exe or install and all works perfectly, point>click>your done. compared to how much you retain and are able to pass on to others what you have learned through your experience of sudo apt-get <package> or when you reconfigure a .cfg file or maybe grub.lst etc."
when i work in windows, unfortunately have no choice at work, i feel like a drone when doing this install or that install. barring hardware failure, i have nothing to puzzle over or think on. but, when i'm on my linux machine, (work is unaware of) cups, samba, ftp, or just getting q3 arena to run, i really have to think and research and double check just to be sure. when i'm successful, i feel great. installing a windows app is like a rocket launcher, you fire (click) and forget (finish).
thank you for pointing out my bad word BigBearOmaha. please keep in mind that one misswording does not a bad apple make.
no prob. i haven't come across a bad apple here (except for me). and i certainly wouldn't encourage anyone to go back to windows or downgrade someone who needed help. that's happened to me one too many times on other forums so i know the feeling.
mapquest: try some other live cd's as suggested earlier and just play awhile. linux can be real frustrating at times especially when your new to it. unfortunately not all app's will be as easy as skype (3rd party software included acronis, ghost, etc...) fedora core frustrated me to the point i couldn't even drink coffee anymore, but i played with dsl, puppy, slack, knoppix until i found dapper drake ubuntu. now i'm having fun and learning too and i'm happy to report that my frustrations are few and far between especially when compared to windows. good luck and please let us know how you do and what you decide.
Might I recommend PCLinuxOS? In my experimenting with at least the top 10 distros recently, We have come to rally love PCLOS. It is one of the best desktop OS's We have seen yet. And that is saying quite a bit in comparison to some great distros like Ubunto, Frespire and MAndriva.
I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy installs can be. Just my 2 cents,