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I am impressed with the size of the software library available but maybe I'm just not looking for the right software. I've installed several different audio and video decoders that were supposed to allow me to watch video/decode mp3's but none have worked. I've turned to third party software and plugins but now I cant install them because I dont know how to use the command language. Am I missing something from the repository? For instance, Gstreamer-plugins-ugly seems to be a pretty important plugin for this application, but when I search it comes up as not found. Also, it would be handy to know how to install software via the GUI in case I ever needed it, not to mention being able to navigate through the different directories. I've been struggling with Linux for a few days now and it seems like I'm missing something big about the OS, like I'm making it harder than it has to be. Any help?
P.S. I always wondered how a person was officially "thanked" so, officially, thank you.
Why are you assuming that the OP has a system that uses Synaptic??
I guess I am missing the point here. You are given a set of tools with any OS, including Linux. You may use some tools more than others, but you certainly don't want to restrict yourself but saying you will not use specific tools. With Linux, because the command-line is so powerful, you will sooner or later get instructions for something that requires you to open a terminal. This does not mean you have to become an expert in all the commands and utilities available----to solve specific problems, you would only have to be able to follow directions. (But then, you need that skill regardless)
I assume it is something Debian based and you already figured out how to use Synaptic for GUI installation of almost anything.
Originally Posted by zoomzilla
I've installed several different audio and video decoders that were supposed to allow me to watch video/decode mp3's but none have worked. I've turned to third party software and plugins but now I cant install them because I dont know how to use the command language. Am I missing something from the repository?
There are extra repositories that you need to specify for Synaptic so it can find more video decoders, etc.
I was confused by the process of specifying the extra repository for that myself, until someone helped me in a thread at LQ. (It wasn't actually hard, I just managed to confuse myself over something easy).
For instance, Gstreamer-plugins-ugly
I don't know whether that specifically is available in an extra repository or whether it is so obscure that you would need command line to build from source. Maybe I can check later when I'm back at my Mepis system (I only have Windows and Centos handy at the moment).
I'm using fedora 12 and have looked through most of the software packages, its under system>administration>add/remove software in this distro, but I assume it was called synaptic in most others. Unless there's an entirely separate area called synaptic that I'm not seeing.
There are other repositories each marked accordingly(video, display, etc) but I've had no luck with any of the audio or video decoders I've downloaded from them. It's easy to google and find sites with downloads for the things I need, the hard part is actually installing the software once I get it. The readme files all give seemingly simple instructions using the command line, but they never work when I input those install commands. always something about cant find directory or another error. The way I understand it the process should work like this:
Download>unpack>follow install instructions
At different points in that process I'm getting errors which is why I would like to be able to do that process manually(as in not with the command line). I know I can unpack the files to any directory I want but after that I haven't figured out a way to actually install the program without the command line.
I'm using fedora 12 and have looked through most of the software packages, its under system>administration>add/remove software in this distro, but I assume it was called synaptic in most others.
Synaptic is for Debian based distributions (which I incorrectly assumed you were using), not for the Red Hat based distributions (which include Fedora).
Originally Posted by zoomzilla
There are other repositories each marked accordingly(video, display, etc) but I've had no luck with any of the audio or video decoders I've downloaded from them.
I don't know nearly enough about Fedora, to know whether you are likely to find the software you want in other repositories that you haven't enabled yet. Now that you told us "Fedora 12" maybe experts in Fedora can tell you some of that.
Maybe installing from source is the only practical way to get the software you want
Download>unpack>follow install instructions
At different points in that process I'm getting errors
Those sounds like typical top level instructions for build and install from source.
Usually the errors indicate some basic packages for building software aren't installed. So you need to figure out what was needed that wasn't installed. Then install that (using the GUI method you know). Then retry the instructions for installing the software that wasn't available from the repositories and that should advance to the next error for some missing dependency. After a few of those it will likely work.
For a beginner, it won't be at all obvious what package is missing when you get one of those error messages. Fedora assumes you have more expertise in that sort of thing even than typical Linux distributions do. So when you get the error messages you don't understand, post them and someone will tell you what missing package caused the error.
I think Fedora still has a package called "Development Tools" that includes the first things needed by most install from source activities. So if you didn't install that yet, install it before even looking at those error messages.
I would like to be able to do that process manually(as in not with the command line).
Sorry. "Manually" and "not with the command line" tend to be contradictory concepts, especially in Fedora. If you can't find the software you want in repositories, I'm pretty sure you can't install it without the command line.
If you plan to remain scared of the command line, Fedora was a pretty poor choice of distribution. Mepis would have been much easier.
But the command line doesn't need to be scary. Almost all the incomprehensible behavior and confusing error messages you saw came from missing prerequisites. Once you have a few basic packages installed to allow other software to be installed from source, the process will be much smoother.