LinuxQuestions.org
Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 04-19-2005, 05:07 AM   #1
hanzj
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon (Gnome)
Posts: 35

Rep: Reputation: 15
Question Linux Programs and Files: accessible by any installed distro?


Hello,
One one computer, I am planning on playing around with various distros to see which I like. Are Linux Programs inter-accessible by the various distros? For example, if I use Mandrake to download Firefox browser, can Firefox also be used in the other installed distros?

And what about for files (text files, spreadsheets, office documents) created in one distro? Can they be accessed by any distro?

Last edited by hanzj; 04-19-2005 at 05:37 AM.
 
Old 04-19-2005, 05:17 AM   #2
jax8
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Australia
Distribution: Ubuntu, Fedora 10
Posts: 632

Rep: Reputation: 31
everything is interchangeable unless you use source packages for installation. If you download .tar.gz files and compile yourself you should be fine. However compiling yourself can be a pain in the arse, so you might like to use .rpm's or .deb file instead. I think firefox will install on any system much like the java development kit, just download the installer (think it's a .bin file)
 
Old 04-19-2005, 05:30 AM   #3
hanzj
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon (Gnome)
Posts: 35

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Jax8,
Thanks for your post, though I'm sorry but I have only a faint idea of what you wrote. The part that I understand is that there are various ways of installing Distros. And your post seems to say that installing with Linux is not like with Windows, where you just double-click the downloaded setup file and keep clicking "next."
 
Old 04-19-2005, 05:31 AM   #4
reddazz
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: N. E. England
Distribution: Fedora, CentOS, Debian
Posts: 16,298

Rep: Reputation: 74
If you mean using the same config files etc, then thats not recommended at all because different distros can put things in different places and you can end up screwing up your system. As for applications, I don't think its possible to run an application thats installed on one distro on another unless you are running your distros on different computers, and accessing the other computer using ssh or something similar. You can use the same home directory but that can still cause you problems.

Last edited by reddazz; 04-19-2005 at 08:07 AM.
 
Old 04-19-2005, 05:34 AM   #5
hanzj
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon (Gnome)
Posts: 35

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
I'm planning on trying out various distros on one computer.

reddazz mentioned that it's not possible to run an application in various distros but Jax8 thinks otherwise.

Which is it? I am confused.
 
Old 04-19-2005, 05:46 AM   #6
jax8
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Australia
Distribution: Ubuntu, Fedora 10
Posts: 632

Rep: Reputation: 31
I was talking about installing a system and then installing all the program onto it.

Format that system

Then install a new system and install the programs on that system.

and so on.

If you want to install a program only once and keep your home directory between each distribution you will have troubles.

And yes there are different ways of installing programs on linux, in fact there are many different ways for many different distribution. The easiest is to install via a package management system which windows has where you can click on a setup file and it will install for you. Linux has similar systems such as .rpm (SUSE, redhat, fedora and many more) or .deb (debain) and others. The only was you can be sure that an application will install on all linux distrubutions is to download the source code (the code that the program is written in) and then compiling it yourself using gcc (C compiler). Some files are smart and will install with their own installer, I think firefox has one of these installers and you can tell if it is because it will have a .bin extension
 
Old 04-19-2005, 05:49 AM   #7
theYinYeti
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: France
Distribution: Arch Linux
Posts: 1,897

Rep: Reputation: 61
What you want to do can be done, but IMHO, it seems to me, that you don't have the required knowledge.
Please don't take it bad, I say this to save you a lot of trouble. Indeed, installing software in Linux is not as it is in Windows.

But I don't want to discourage you either. Learning is accessible to all, including you and me. So if you've got the will, here are a few tips:
- Linux is based on the Unix phylosophy, where each program is installed under a standard prefix-path.
- Unix, hence Linux, permits either remote exports or local hard-disk partitions, to be "linked to" (we say mounted) anywhere on the filesystem (especially on places corresponding to well-known prefixes).
- Any binary can be executed, so long as access rights are OK (uid, gid), it is in the PATH (or full path is given), and this binary finds its needed libraries at the expected place (or if you're lucky, using ld -> /etc/ld.so.conf).

Good luck.
Yves.
 
Old 04-19-2005, 06:03 AM   #8
hanzj
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon (Gnome)
Posts: 35

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally posted by theYinYeti
- Linux permits either remote exports or local hard-disk partitions, to be "linked to" (we say mounted) anywhere on the filesystem (especially on places corresponding to well-known prefixes).
So each distro must get its own partition?
 
Old 04-19-2005, 06:33 AM   #9
theYinYeti
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: France
Distribution: Arch Linux
Posts: 1,897

Rep: Reputation: 61
No. For example, you could have:
/dev/hda1: swap
/dev/hda2: Mandrake
/dev/hda3: Debian
/dev/hda4: your programs...

When you boot Mandrake, Mandrake would be configured to mount /dev/hda2 as "/", and /dev/hda4 as "/usr/local".
When you boot Debian, Debian would be configured to mount /dev/hda3 as "/", and /dev/hda4 as "/usr/local".

From each distribution's point of view, the /usr/local directory is its own, but in fact it is mounted there. It could even be mounted there from a remote server!

The problem is that binaries living in /usr/local/bin will probably need a number of software libraries. Some of them may be in /usr/local/lib, maybe. But most libraries will instead be looked for in /usr/lib, and those depend on what you install with each single distribution, because /usr/lib is not shared.

Of course, you could try and share /usr/lib too, but appart from /usr/local, and /opt, or a place of your own (or /home too), sharing directories and using a package manager don't live together well.

In fact, the more directories you share, the closer you are to the "thin client" model. But with this model, all clients share almost everything, and there's no point in trying different distributions for running as a thin client.

HTH.
Yves.
 
Old 04-19-2005, 06:59 AM   #10
enemorales
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Santiago, Chile
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 410

Rep: Reputation: 31
You can have Windows 98 and/or Windows ME and/or Windows XP in the same computer, but: would you make them share the "C:\Program Files" folder? Certainly you could try to do so, and maybe it could work, but likely you will run in a lot of troubles it you try it. On the other hand, you wouldn't expect too many problems if they share "My Documents", as the important thing for documents are the applications: as long as you have your spreadsheet program installed in all your Windows, you will be able to open the files and work with them, without major (if any) difficulties.

Well... the same applies for different Linux distributions!

Hope this makes things clearer for you.

EDIT: Some misstypings.

Last edited by enemorales; 04-19-2005 at 07:00 AM.
 
Old 04-19-2005, 07:46 AM   #11
pingu
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Skuttunge SWEDEN
Distribution: Debian preferably
Posts: 1,350

Rep: Reputation: 127Reputation: 127
I use one partition mounted on /usr/local in all distros, and some apps can be installed there and run from any distro.
Now only one kind works like this with no problem at all: the commercial ones. This includes all games I bought, OpenOffice, AcrobatReader and Opera. Sylpheed is an exception, it also works perfectly.
Commercial distributors make sure they deliver everything needed, and obviously puts the libraries in installation directory.
Trying to get anything else to work like this will give you problems. Problems that might be possible to solve if you have the knowledge (or try hard to solve it and you'll get the knowledge needed! )
I also use one /home, this is really trickier because of differences in config-files as reddazz mentioned. Don't try it - at least not without a backup and plenty of time! In the worst case, you'll be unable to use the computer until problem is fixed.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wine problem - missing files when running not installed programs TMH2 Linux - Software 2 06-28-2005 04:35 PM
Locating Installed Programs /or Files Mr T Donegal Linux - Software 5 06-28-2004 09:36 PM
How do i install programs that I have installed on windows on Linux? ologbon Linux - Newbie 2 06-25-2004 10:19 AM
Making programs accessible from command line simsjr Linux - Software 5 04-27-2004 09:56 AM
where is the location of installed programs? in windows there is progam files.. hmm kublador Linux - Newbie 7 03-15-2003 04:09 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:06 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration