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-   -   Suse: confused on many things, why is installing things so hard? (

blackflare 11-23-2004 09:35 PM

Suse: confused on many things, why is installing things so hard?
Is there some kind of guide out the to aclimatize windows users to linux? Because im having serious problems installing programs. Most seem to come as source code which I have no idea what to do with. I follow instructions and do the ./configure command and it pops up an error message "unknown host ." I really wanna learn simple stuff =/

J_Szucs 11-23-2004 11:25 PM

When you install a program from source, you should do it in a console window (a window similar to the DOS window in windows).

1. Once you are in the console window, cd into the directory where you extracted the source to:
cd /path/to/extractdirectory
2. Check that the configure script is really there:
ls configure
If the above command does not list the configure file, then you are probably in the wrong directory.
3. Run the configure command:
4. Run the make command:
5. Login as root:
su -l
6. cd back into the extract directory (cause you have been dropped into root's home directory, when you logged in as root):
cd /path/to/extractdirectory
7. Run the "make install" command:
make install

Just a sidenote: are you sure that the program is only available in source?

Nowadays I came to realize that almost everything is available in rpm packages via YAST from the SuSE website: you just have to specify the SuSE ftp site as an installation source in YAST.
One can specify several installation sources there, so I also specified as an additional installation source for my SuSE 9.0.
Actually, I specified the latter as the first installation source, as the packman site offers the full versions of (mainly multimedia) packages of which the official SuSE site has the "castrated" versions.
Just an example: I struggled a lot with installing the great mplayer multimedia player from source, until I finally realized that I could have installed it with some mouseclicks in yast (from the packman site).

David the H. 11-24-2004 12:31 AM

On Linux there are actually several different methods for program installation, most of them distribution dependent (although it's possible to get them to work on other distros usually). SUSE uses the RPM system, as does Red Hat and Mandrake. There's another system called APT, which is used by Debian-based systems. Then there's TGZ, the oldest and simplest version, which is used by Slackware-based distros. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses, but they all do pretty much the same thing--make program installation easier.

Now all 3 of the above package systems are binary installations. That means that somebody has taken the trouble to compile and set up the installation package for you (just like nearly all Windows programs). But that also means it's been compiled to run on the greatest number of systems, and may not be optimally set up for your uses. So in essence you're trading performance for convenience (Those differences are usually minor, however).

If you want better performance, or if nobody has created the proper package for you, or you want to enable functions that the binary packager didn't enable, you'll have to compile it yourself from the source code. that's where it can get hard. But actually, for most programs, compiling isn't so difficult. The only real problem is making sure you have all the proper development libraries installed. It only really gets bad for really large programs like KDE, Xfree86. Mplayer and such (I could never get Mplayer to compile correctly myself either).

The real secret to compiling from source is to read the README's and other documentation that comes with the source package. They will generally tell you how to go about it. It just takes time and experience before you will understand everything you read. :)

Anyway, my advice is, don't worry about compiling from source right now unless you really need it. Learn how to use the RPM system and install everything that way. I'd say 95% of what you'll want to use is out there in RPM form somewhere. Later, as you gain experience, you'll want to learn how to compile things, and it will get easier as you go along. Start small, and work your way up to the big stuff. Just be happy that you even have the opportunity. M$ doesn't give you that much. :D

blackflare 11-24-2004 06:27 AM

ah thanks that was really helpful

blackflare 11-24-2004 07:18 AM

alright now I tried doing it from from the console window and everything runs fine for a second then it says "no acceptable c compiler found in $PATH" where can I get a good c compiler and where should I put it?

SlowMindThinkin 11-24-2004 11:50 AM

In Yast, select the developer packages. I also found selecting the "experienced Linux" packages helpful.

abisko00 11-24-2004 12:10 PM

Do you use 9.1 Personal-ISO?

There you will not find the required packages for compiling software on the CD. You need to add an FTP server to the yast installation sources.

Have a look here for mirror server:

And add the server in Yast -> Change Source of Installation

You may then install the required packages from the server.

J_Szucs 11-24-2004 05:10 PM

Hi Blackflare,

May I ask you what are you going to install?

NginUS 11-24-2004 08:11 PM

im having problems installing, too. ive spent the last week getting acclimated to suse 9.1, and i found an app on called guinstaller, which claims to make installing easier. after i installed it via yast, i still cant run it cuz i dunno where it is. what has to happen after yast runs an rpm to get the app to appear (&run from) the start menu? (sorry, i dunno what else to call it)
i also got the seti rpm in, but never found a way to run it.... and i couldnt get the command-line one to run as a user, or in a gui..... This is so incredibly frustrating! I can make Windows do anything (except be stable), but I'm so lost in Linux..... please help.

J_Szucs 11-25-2004 07:04 AM

I wonder why you look for any other installers when you have yast on your machine?

I just cannot imagine an installation tool easier to use than yast: just open it, search and select the package you want to install (if you specified good installation sources then yast already knows hundreds of programs), and yast will do the rest: it will download and install the package and all of its dependencies, and it even inserts the new item in the kde menu.

Simply stop installing programs the windows way! On windows you should google the web for downloadable programs; download them and install them with the windows installer.

In SuSE Linux, yast does all this for you, but only if you use it!!!

If you use other installers not designed for SuSE, or try to install rpms designed for other distros then you will s[u]ck a lot, as those will just mangle your system.

When I was a noob to Linux I felt like you: I thought that installing softwares is incredibly hard on Linux compared to Windows.
E.g. when I read about a web downloader d4x, I said: I want it! And I did what I would have done on windows: googled the web to find where I can download it, downloaded it, tried to install it manually and struggled a lot with its dependencies. It took me two days until I could finally install it!

Now I just open yast, search d4x among the packages, select it for installation, and forget all about it as yast does the rest, so that d4x is downloaded and readily installed in 5 minutes.

That is a great difference: do it on your way and s[u]ck for two days, or do it the SuSE way and you have it installed with two mouse clicks.

It is your choice, however...

piscikeeper 11-25-2004 07:26 AM

yes yast does make installation easy.for me though,i like to install from source.i have noticed though that for some reason suse dosen't like the normal ./configure , using sh ./configure instead works wonders though.just open a consol,su and cd to the directory then enter 1 line--sh ./configure&&make&&make install ,if everything is proper then the program is installed when you come back with coffee :D

teluguswan 10-16-2007 05:35 AM

thanks for the info

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