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As you can see, this one is fastup-0.3 which is one I want to play around with, but all it does is make another directory within the one I'm extracting it from. This just does not make sense to me.
Hope this is all making a little more sense...I really am at an impasse.
1. Starting with terminology - you don't mount software (as explained above) you install it.
2. You have successfully untarred a bz2 file (AKA a tarball). Well done! What you have there is source code and not an application ready to run.
3. What you do with source code is compile it (that is, translate it from a computer language which people can write and understand - probably C in this case - into a language understood by your computer. That's compiling.
4. Usually the source code contains a text file called INSTALL and/or README. Check out those files and they will explain a bit what you should do.
5. Given what appears above, and what was already pointed out by someone else, you probably just need to open a terminal and type "make" (w/o quotes) on the command line. This presupposes that Ubuntu gives you a C compiler (gcc) by default. If the computer complains, then probably you don't have one installed.
As for windows, I don't think windows newbies go around compiling source code that way that you are. Try that on Windows but bring a pile of money with you. Windows compilers don't come cheap. Of course you could try installing cygwin on windows but then you're in the same boat you are now (probably a lot worse).
Calm down, relax and smile a little. You are not alone
Take a deep breath and count to ten......you are already at the premier Linux help site.
What has gotten everyone on the wrong track is that it was hard to figure out exactly what the question was. Here are some general hints:
1. Always try the package manager first. Most common SW is available using the package manager and the repositories. In Ubuntu, the PMs are Synaptic and Adept.
2. For SW that is not available with the package manager, there is typically an installation package in a variety of formats. This may be in an "archive" format which first needs to be extracted. Examples include .tar, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2, .tgz, etc. After extraction, there is typically and installation script and a "README" file with instructions.
3. Finally, there are some applications which must be compiled on your machine. If you see something like "Makefile", then you have one of these. If you have such a thing, ask for specific guidance on that application---otherwise, let's ignore this category for the moment.
I did spot one simple error:
For a .tar.gz, the extraction command is "tar xzvf filename". The "z" tells it to decompress before extracting.
Please post back with the specific question where you need help at the moment.
Ok, now that we're done philosophizing, here's some detailed basics.
There are two main ways to install programs on Linux. The first, most difficult, and most basic type is to get the source code and compile it for yourself. This has the advantage of working on almost any system, but it's difficult, time consuming, and often means you have to compile other programs or libraries first as dependencies for the one you want to use.
This is what your .tgz file is. And for a program as big and complex as openoffice, it's not for the new or fainthearted to try. As others recommend, dump it and go with your package manager. Speaking of which...
The second main way is to use a package manager. The packages are precompiled programs that can be installed through a few simple commands. Usually your distribution provides an online repository of packages that can be installed directly through the distro's package manager. There are several flavors of package manager that use different formats, and several kinds of package management frontends you can use to install and uninstall them. Different distributions use different types. The two big ones are:
Red Hat Package Manager: This system is used by Red Hat, Suse, Mandriva, and some other distros. The packages for this format use the .rpm file ending and are handled with the rpm command. You will not use rpm on Ubuntu, generally.
The Debian Package Manager: These packages have a .deb suffix, and are usually handled with the apt management program. It's mostly used by Debian and Debian-derived distributions such as Ubuntu. This is what you will be using most of the time.
Note that you probably won't be handling raw .deb packages directly for the most part. Probably 95% of the software titles you want will be available through the package manager. The package manager will connect with the online repositories, provide you with a list of what packages are available and what's already installed, and allow you to install or uninstall them. Package managers also generally handle any necessary dependencies automatically, installing whatever is needed to make the program run.
For you, you need to use the repositories provided by Ubuntu. apt is the basic cli command, and you can install a program with a simple "sudo apt-get install packagename" (and use "apt-cache search word" to search for packages). But there are frontends you can use as well. aptitude is a cli frontend, and for gui you can use synaptic or the "add/remove programs" dialog that Ubuntu provides. Simply run the frontend, run update on the list, search for and find the name of the program you want, and go. This is all described in the links provided for you already.
I hope this is enough for you to get the idea. There are other variations as well, such as Gentoo's portage system that combines the ease of a package manager with the customizing ability of compiling the programs from source. But you don't need to worry about those at this time.