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I have been using linux (SuSE 8.2) now for 2 days. I am just now beginning to understand some of the basic commands and can almost install a few things and navigate around. 1 of my problems I am having is when installing something, no matter what program it might be, I am always missing something, usually a package of sorts and cannot complete the compile. Is it always like this when installing programs? For instance some of the programs I have tried to install is LICQ. I couldn't get the qt-gui installed because of QT header files. After messing with that I couldn't seem to get headed the right way with finding/installing the right QT files. Then instead I tried installing gaim and have ran into the same problem with gtk and pkg-config files not being up to date or they are not there at all, then when I install the gtk files it needs other files like glib or pango. Another thing I have tried to install and had problems with was installing the NVIDIA drivers, the kernel source not being right, I gave up on that for now as well after not being able to figure that out.
Trying to take things one step at a time and I have spent a couple days on and off messing with this and seemed to have barely made any headway. So anyway to end this, is this typical of linux or should I switch to another build, like redhat or are they all the same with these 'missing' files? It just seems no matter which file I install it always requires another file installed. Should I get used to finding/installing headers and packages?
If some libs are missing while you're compiling/installing programs, it is most likely that you don't have installed them during the installation process. If you want to install/compile a program, you'd better get used to find those missing libraries, but once they'll be installed, you'll have them and you wont need to find them each time you'll install something else. I remember I had to download 3 or 4 different packages before being able to compile a snapshot version of gaim.
Anyway, the easiest and the safest way to install a package/program when you're beggining with linux is probably the rpm way. To do this, grab a rpm on rpmfind or freshrpms and install it with # rpm -Uvh package-file.rpm .
Sometimes, a rpm will not get installed because of missing/broken dependencies (another package is needed). You'll then have to find the missing package and retry the installation.