wht exactly does tar do , im tryin to figure out what that does
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You can think of tar kind of like zip on Windows. A tar file (foo.tar) is an archive, or basically one file that contains a whole directory structure of files. Tar files are often compressed with either gzip or bzip2. These make the tar file take up less space. One compressed with gzip looks like foo.tar.gz, and one compressed with bzip2 looks like foo.tar.bz2.
A lot of software for Linux comes in a compressed .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 package, which is then extracted.
To decompress and untar a tar file, you use either
tar zxvf filename.tar.gz
tar jxvf filename.tar.bz2
depending on whether gzip or bzip2 is used. That should extract everything to a directory, which you can then look in to see how to install. If it's a source package, the next step is to look at the INSTALL file in the extracted directory.
Open the directory that was created when you ran that command, and see if there's an INSTALL file there. If so, follow the instructions there. Otherwise, look for a README file in that directory or installation notes on the site where you downloaded the file.
Easier than typing "./configure && make && make install"? That seems pretty easy to me. But better in terms of how you keep track of packages on your system, probably yes.
In my experience it goes more like:
# cross fingers && wait for 10 minutes
# install correct kernel-headers
# hope I enabled the right features in ./configure and the thing actually works
Ok, I went and got that package, and untarred it. The thing you are looking for is in the directory that tar made, in the file called README. It gives detailed instructions on how to install the package. What you have here is a copy of all the files that the guy who wrote MPlayer wrote. None of it is compiled into working software. The process described in README is for compiling the files into a working binary system.
MPlayer can be tricky to install this way, and I admire your efforts to get it working. It would be much easier to use a pre-compiled package made for Mandrake 9.1. In that case it is just a matter of downloading the MPlayer
RPM file, opening the Package Manager in KDE, and selecting the package. It will install it without having to compile it (it is already compiled). There is a copy of this rpm on the install CD's you used to install Mandrake, but it is not going to be this latest version.
Mandrake 9.1 is quite old by Linux standards. I had it on my server for a year or more. Mandrake does nnot exist anymore; they were bought by Conectiva, and are called Mandriva now.
Is there a reason that the old version of MPlayer will not do what you want it to do?