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Old 11-25-2005, 04:05 PM   #1
Thanotos
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Exclamation Slackware newb - cant even get the basics


Ok, I am now humbling myself by admitting that I am not the one with the answers. I have decided to change OS's from Windows to Linux and I am having troubles understanding/grasping the basics.

As a windows user I was very comfortable in navigation, installation, registry hacks, yada yada yada. Now moving to Linux, Slackware I am finding that the old wives tales of transitioning from WIN to Linux being a little tough to be true.

I can't even grasp how to install packages from source.

Two programs I am having troubles with particulalary are:
Open Office 2
&
Mplayer (with codecs, fonts and skin)

I guess what I am asking for is a basic, dumbied down explanation *how to* on the process of compiling.

1. Can root (/) be the only user that can install programs? If not how do I set up my 'main' account (thanotos) to install programs.

2. As 'thanotos' I cannot move packages to or copy to /usr/local/src. (my understanding from readings is that is the 'typical' place for installs)

Currently sitting on one of my common user's home directory (/home/thanotos) are the files:

MPlayer-1.0pre7try2.tar.bz2
essential-20050412.tar.bz2 and
font-arial-iso-8859-1.tar.bz2

What is the main difference between a ".tar.bz2" and ".tar" file. Do you treat them the same? I think that the difference is compression. (comparrison: winzip and winrar??)

3. When I 'un-tar' a package do I want to put the files/folders into another directory or keep them where I downloaded the .tar to?

4. When the time actually comes to properly use the programs does my Xwin (KDE) automatically recognize it or do I have to create a link?

After reading how to configure mplayer I am curious, if I miss ./configure --enable-gui or any other options for other packages, can I go back and do it again or do I have to configure from scratch?

I like the thought and idea of Linux and do not want to go back to using WIN solely (have to still use at work), but I think I missed something a couple of weeks ago when I first started and as a result have completely confused my self.

Unfourtunately I do not get to spend a whole hell of a lot of time like I would love to learning Linux/Slackware or implementing what I read, so I would like some one to point out the obivous (slap me in the face) and hopefully I will pick up what I missed.

Reading this forum, and asking questions in it before, I really appreciate the community that is out there and respect users thoughts and comments. I want to get away from the ease of point and click and understand the fundimentals and simplicity of Linux. So if any one has more patience...please HELP.
 
Old 11-25-2005, 04:17 PM   #2
geeman2.0
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Quote:
1. Can root (/) be the only user that can install programs? If not how do I set up my 'main' account (thanotos) to install programs
You can give your regular day to day user the ability to install programs, but this is usually a bad idea. You should instead use the "su" or "sudo" commands to allow thanotos to temporarily become root for installing programs.

Quote:
What is the main difference between a ".tar.bz2" and ".tar" file. Do you treat them the same? I think that the difference is compression. (comparison: winzip and winrar??)
A tar file is a whole bunch of files wadded together into one file. There is no compression.
A tar.bz2 file is a tar file that was compressed.
The tar command is capable of unpacking both of these files when the appropriate flags are given.

Quote:
3. When I 'un-tar' a package do I want to put the files/folders into another directory or keep them where I downloaded the .tar to?
For source packages, you should unpack them into a temporary location like a subfolder of your home directory. Then ./configure, make, and make install it from there.
"make install" usually copies the files to the appropriate locations, and generally requires root priveleges to run.


Quote:
4. When the time actually comes to properly use the programs does my Xwin (KDE) automatically recognize it or do I have to create a link?
This is up to the person maintaining the package, especially if it's being compiled from source. "make install" may create these links for you, and it may not.

The best way to get packages for slackware is to download slackware packages from linuxpackages.net and use the "installpkg" command to install them as root. These packages are designed especially for slackware and will generally create all the links for you.
Quote:
After reading how to configure mplayer I am curious, if I miss ./configure --enable-gui or any other options for other packages, can I go back and do it again or do I have to configure from scratch?
This will require going back and configuring, compiling, and then installing the package again from scratch. Usually you can just install the newly compiled package on top of the previous one.

Hope this helps!
 
Old 11-25-2005, 07:50 PM   #3
lord-fu
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As Pat says,use root sparingly. So when compiling...building packages from source you can as normal user do the
./configure && make
as a normal user. Then su to root and do the
make install
as root.
On a side note on my system I find it nice to download apps that I will be building from source and saving them inside a folder in my ~.On mine this folder is called build, inside that folder ,once I have the packages compiled and installed, I save them in another folder called installed. This way as I am extracting and compiling sometimes I run into dependencies that I need to find, I can always go back to that folder and start over...or at least know where I was at when I ran into the dependency. This is just my 2 pennies though.

Quote:
The best way to get packages for slackware is to download slackware packages from linuxpackages.net and use the "installpkg" command to install them as root. These packages are designed especially for slackware and will generally create all the links for you.
That is very true.

Hope that helps some.
 
Old 11-25-2005, 11:22 PM   #4
jrdioko
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A few things to add:

- bzip2 and gzip are two different forms of compression. bzip2 (generally) compressed better but takes longer than gzip. To uncompress/untar a .tar.gz archive, use "tar zxvf" -- to uncompress/untar a .tar.bz2 archive use "tar jxvf"

- "/" is not the same thing as the user root. The user root is the superuser, that should only be used for administrative tasks such as making system-wide configuration changes, doing the "make install" part of compiling, changing permissions, etc. Your regular user should be used for everything else. The "/" directory is called the "root directory" since, well, that's what it is, but that has nothing to do with the root user. To make it even more confusing, the home directories of users are at "/home/username" but the root user's home directory is at "/root"

- Look at
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...ticle&artid=15
for more on compiling from source. The basic/non-verbose answer to that question though is to download the .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 file to /usr/local/src (if the user doesn't have access to that for some reason, change the permissions, see http://www.slackbook.org), use "tar zxvf" or "tar jxvf" and the filename to create an extracted folder in the same directory with all the files in it, "cd" to that directory, and read the INSTALL file (which tells you exactly what you need to do to install, usually just "./configure" then "make" then, as root, "make install").

- Use checkinstall (the package is in the /extras Slackware directory and can be installed using installpkg). Instead of what you normally do, you'll run "./configure" and "make" as your user, "su" to root, then type "checkinstall" which will run "make install," keep track of where files are being installed, turn those into a SlackPkg, and install that package so it can be removed and kept track of later. If you don't do that, it's very hard to remove a program installed from source if you want to do so later.

Good luck and don't give up on Slack... it forces you to learn but when you're done you really understand your system. Slackware was the first distro I actually put my mind to trying and getting to work and I've been a satisfied user from then on.
 
Old 11-26-2005, 05:31 AM   #5
d00bid00b
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Coming to GNU/Linux from Windows is a confusing experience because the two systems are really quite different, not only in terms of architecture but also because the assumptions each system makes about its user. In Windows, Microsoft makes the assumption that most users don't want to know (or is that shouldn't know?) what goes on underneath the "hood", and consequently tries to automate everything for the user while concealing the goings on underneath a "pretty" GUI. With GNU/Linux the entire system is open and transparent (as root, anyway) and can be trashed completely. Hence, due to this enormous power attributed to root, the administrator (i.e. you) must assign everyday usage to a user account to get things done, and then draw from the power of root to only do a very limited set of activities, such as those described by previous respondents. If nothing else, being asked for the root password should give you pause for thought - are you sure you want to do what you are about to do?
OpenOffice.org is straight forward to install really - and you can use the slackpackages or the more general release, that's up to you. Once you have the package (tarball), untar it in the usual way, cd (change directory) to the source directory and you should see something that reads "install". If you want the installation to be system-wide (and there's no good reason not to AFAIK), then add the following at the command line (i.e. open a conole):
su -c "./install"
enter root's password and then a little dialog box will pop-up and will uncompress the source files and then just follow the installation instructions. It will ask you which Java environment you want to use (and will usually pre-select one for you), and then once its installed go to the KDE menu and search for the menu updating tool (I don't use KDE so am going on memory) and this will update the menu for you so that you will see the familiar blue/white gulls of OOo. In GNU/Linux, one of the differences you will probably notice is that if you want to use an app you open the app first and then the file whereas with Windows you would double-click the file icon first. I'm not certain that this is the case all the time but mostly I believe this holds true. So for example, you want to edit a document so open OOo first and then from within the app open the document. On your email client you can set it up so that it will automatically load the correct app for the file type you want to access.

Don't forget to set up your firewall for security and try and update your packages regularly. The turnaround time from when a bug/hole is discovered to being fixed is really quick in GNU/Linux world, and for Slackware the best info on this is this list changelog@mrgoblin.is-a-geek.org and pkg-annc-request@linuxpackages.net will advise you of new packages that have been compiled for Slackware. Slackware will not do a whole bunch for you automagically, so unfortunately you will have to scale that steep learning curve to really get a handle on your machine. However, the benefits are tremendous for learning GNU/Linux and it is a rock solid and stable and reliable distribution - it even survives my stupidity, which is a testament to its resiliance!!!

As you keep working this, keep posting your questions - especially on the Slackware forum. Good luck and while you can expect to feel "dumb" for a while, this is to be expected because you are learning something completely foreign: did you expect to be master in one sitting? Many of us have been using GNU/Linux for years and are still learning about it. It comes with the territory. Just relax and enjoy the ride ...

Last edited by d00bid00b; 11-26-2005 at 05:34 AM.
 
Old 11-26-2005, 11:00 AM   #6
Netizen
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Unfortunately, to fully grasp linux you will prolly have to do some reading. As you are learning, Linux is not Windows. Linux is a different language, and before you can attempt to write and speak, you will have to learn the basic vocabulary.

http://www.tldp.org/ is a good place to start. Lots of good guides, how tos, and books.

Slackware is a great distro. And dont worry, it wont be long before you are typing 'ls' and 'ifconfig' at the windows command prompt...
 
Old 11-26-2005, 01:13 PM   #7
jrdioko
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Actually, to tell you the truth, OpenOffice.org 2.0 was probably the one thing that took the most time to figure out how to install, for me. The older versions have a nice installer like a previous poster described, but the new versions only come with precompiled packages for other distributions, so you need to use a script to convert those to Slackpkgs. Do a search in this forum for the "slackbuild script" and you should get the threads explaining how the process works.
 
Old 11-27-2005, 12:10 AM   #8
Thanotos
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Qucik and simple:

WOW.

Thanks everyone, this is helping and reading is the best tool available to me right now.

Thanks one and all.

PS. if there are others that want to make comments, please do...just want to express my appreciation.

I login regularly to linuxquestions and won't stop reading this thread.
 
Old 11-27-2005, 06:14 AM   #9
hottdogg
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This may be OOT a little bit, but still relevant I guess rather than post a new thread.


I know linuxpackages.net is a good source for slackware package. And actually I dont like automatic update like using slapt-get or something. I prefer this: download an app package and install. If I want to upgrade, I just remove the old app package and download the newer version.

This is just a confirmation questions:
Can I use built-in tool from slackware(installpkg,removepkg,etc.) for the .tgz package from linuxpackages.net?

Or I have to use slapt-get, swaret,etc to install/uninstall the package from linuxpackages.net?

Will removepkg really remove all files that was previously installed with installpkg?
 
Old 11-27-2005, 10:02 AM   #10
con
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instead of running 'make install', download checkinstall from the slackware site its in 'extra'. checkinstall automatically makes a .tgz from whatever you compiled. also makes programs easier to uninstall.

So instead of doing ./configure && make && su -c 'make install'
....do ./configure && make && su -c checkinstall

As for installing OpenOffice, run 'rpm2tgz *.rpm' in the folder with the rpm's rpm2tgz is in the same package as installpkg and removepkg, so you dont have to download anything. Or you could download the OOo package from linuxpackages.net

Hope this helps!
 
Old 11-27-2005, 05:51 PM   #11
jrdioko
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Quote:
Originally posted by hottdogg
This is just a confirmation questions:
Can I use built-in tool from slackware(installpkg,removepkg,etc.) for the .tgz package from linuxpackages.net?

Or I have to use slapt-get, swaret,etc to install/uninstall the package from linuxpackages.net?

Will removepkg really remove all files that was previously installed with installpkg?
Yes, .tgz packages are Slackpkgs and are meant to be managed with installpkg, removepkg, etc.

Slapt-get, swaret, etc. are just automated ways of downloading Slackpkgs and using installpkg to install them.

Slack's package tools keep track of everything that's installed, so removepkg is a clean uninstall. If you install something with make install and it happens to have a make uninstall, that's a little iffy, but with these packages you're safe.
 
Old 11-27-2005, 07:14 PM   #12
Thanotos
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a follow up if I could.

installpkg is different than going through the process of:
tar zxf filename.tar.gz
cd filename
./configure
make
make install

going through linuxpackages.net I am able to find the packages that I want, and for a couple I have just been using the installpkg and it appears to be working. Am I missing anysteps?
 
Old 11-27-2005, 07:27 PM   #13
btmiller
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The packages you install from linuxpackages.net (or elsewhere) via installpkg are binary packages. That is to say, they contain the executable code need for the program, any libraries, etc. All installpkg does is put all that stuff in the correct place and perhaps run some scripts that set things up to be ready to use. When you ./configure, make, and make install you are actually building the program from its source code. The ./configure script is a part of something called GNU autoconf. Autoconf (and its sister automake) exist to make it easier to compile software on different platforms. The make command actually builds the software, using the "Makefile" to tell it how. When you do "make install" you are running the make program again, but the install argument tells make to look at the Makefile for information on how to put all the files you have built into the correct place.

Hopefully this sheds some light on the situation...
 
Old 11-27-2005, 07:28 PM   #14
jrdioko
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Nope, those are two different methods of installing things. The .tgz files that you use Slack's tools on (installpkg, removepkg, etc.) are Slackpkgs, which are basically archives of all the files that are needed for the program, and installpkg will extract those files and put them in the appropriate places. You need to be root to do this, since they are being extracted to locations outside of the current directory that your normal user won't have access to.

Files ending in .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 are typically the source code for a program. You use "tar zxf filename.tar.gz" or "tar jxf filename.tar.bz2" to extract them, "cd filename" to change to the folder, and "less INSTALL" (or "less README") to view the installation instructions. Most often, the steps are just what you said. Running "./configure" as your normal user will check your system and make sure you have everything required to build the program. Doing "make" as the normal user will compile the source code and make the binary files that you will actually run. Doing "make install" (or, if you ever want to be able to uninstall later, "checkinstall") as root will do the same thing that "installpkg" does for Slackpkgs--that is, place all the files in the appropriate places on your system.

The only reason you might want to get the source code and use the "long method" when Slackpkgs are already available is that the source code versions are the first released and will most likely be the newest versions. Slackpkgs only exist when someone gets the source code and turns it into a package that you can download, and, for this reason, they might not be the latest versions and they might not always be available for something you want to download.
 
  


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