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I recently installed Mandrake 10.0 on my second hd and I am looking forward to getting rid of Windows completely. Before I begin my transition, I would like some clarification about software installation in Linux. I have come across two ways of installing software - the first being to dl rpm files, store them some directory and point rpmdrake to that directory, then use the install option in rpmdrake and search for the added packages. What is the appropriate directory to store rpm files? Of course I could store them in /home/.. but that seems a bit clumsy. A similar question applies to the second method - tarballs. In which directory should one install programs extracted from tarballs? For example, the Mozilla Firefox installer defaults to the directory that it's in (which was /home/..). Firefox worked fine, but I imagine that the app should be stored somewhere else. Thanks.
The best way to install software on Mandrake is not actually downloading rpms and manually installing them (although you can obviously do it). Mandrake has a package manager called urpmi, with a gui interface called rpmdrake. You configure urpmi to point to Mandrake ftp sites or Mandrake installations disks (done automatically at installation time), start urpmi or rpmdrake and install the packages you need. urpmi automatically resolves and dependencies as well, so this will save you the time and effort you could spend looking for packages on the internet. To fond out more about urpmi and how to configure and use it, go to zebulon.org.uk and easyurpmi or any Mandrake specific forums.
As for tarballs, most are installed in /usr/local, but some may need to be specifically in /usr particularly if you take the risk of upgrading packges that were initially installed as rpms. Some packages such as firefox, azureus and limewire can run from your /home directory, which is okay if you are the only one using your system but if other need to use the same application, then you are better off, installing them in /usr/local.
Thanks a lot man. So for the tarballs, just create say a mozilla_firefox dir in /usr/local or should it be in /usr/local/bin or some other subdirectory of /usr/local? I appreciate the help, I studied a filesystem hierarchy tutorial but it didn't say what goes where.
Originally posted by shavak Thanks a lot man. So for the tarballs, just create say a mozilla_firefox dir in /usr/local or should it be in /usr/local/bin or some other subdirectory of /usr/local? I appreciate the help, I studied a filesystem hierarchy tutorial but it didn't say what goes where.
For stuff like firefox et al you need to put them in directories such as /usr/local/firefox and then create a symbolic link (symlink) to their binaries in /usr/local/bin or /usr/bin e.g.
#ln -s /usr/local/firefox/firefox /usr/local/bin/.
When you do that and type "firefox" in a console, firefox starts. You can then create desktop icons or menu links that just refer to firefox and when you click on them firefox will run.
Thanks redazz! I'll do that. I configured urpmi with the ftp sites too - didn't even know about the sites until you told me. Good heads up! Just a question about urpmi though; suppose I am interested in a piece of software say the Java Development Kit (for which I know there exist rpms 'cause I downloaded them already from Sun) I would do a search in the install option of rpmdrake. JDK 5.0 doesn't turn up. In such a case should I have a local package directory for rpms that I dl not yet available from the ftp mirrors? If so where should this directory exist? Thanks dudes.
For some packages you will have to install third party rpms, but like I said earlier you need to make sure that they don't break your system or if they require any dependencies, install them from the Mandrake software repositories because hunting for dependencies on the web can result in a broken system if the rpms are not explicitly made for your distro. There is a java rpm for Mandrake but it's only available to club members or those that buy boxed sets.
Thanks a lot guys. I will follow your advice - better to be safe than sorry. I need to use JDK though so I'll have to install it manually, otherwise I'd have to go back to windows to do Java programming - blech. I feel more confident now about installing software and what goes where and all that. By the way I just wanted to add that I am very impressed with Mandrake, especially the supermounting of USB drives and all that - I know it spoils newbies like myself because we should learn about mounting before taking it for granted, but it helps not having to learn everything before you can do anything. Mdk 10 makes the transition easy. Good stuff.