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tar zxvf filename.tar.gz (or .tgz, same thing)
tar jxvf filename.bz2 (just a different sort of zipping algorithm)
that will unzip the file which usually contains source code. Most programs will have either a README file or an INSTALL file or both. Read them to find out how to install the program but it's usually just a case of cd'ing to the directory that was just created when you untarred the tarball and typing:
make install (that one as root to make programs installed for all users)
Should probably explain. The reason that it's .tar.gz is because gzip can only compress one file, so the collection of files is tarred (Tape ARchive) first. Tarring goes back to when most backups were done to tape. Rather than write all the files individually to tape, you tarred them first so you only had one file to write.
The j option with tar tells it that the file was zipped with Bzip2. The z option means Gzip was used. x means eXtract. v is Verbose (tell you what files it's extracting) and f precedes the name of the file.
Aha. Thanks! This isn't so difficult after all. Actually it's kinda fun not having lamer windows doing everything for me. I did compile one tar.gz but during the process it asked for the path to mozilla and when I told it /usr/lib/mozilla it told me "no such directory". A bit silly considering that this is the correct directory. whereis gave it to me and I even verified it visually. I'm still searching for the gentoo ISO's I think I will remove RedHat and try gentoo. I rather like it's look. The only site I have found them at has all dead links.
Last edited by SelaAragon; 03-15-2004 at 10:57 PM.
Want Gentoo ISOs? Go to http://gentoo.org to get them. Gentoo is advanced to install, but the instructions are very thorough so it's hard to get stuck really. It takes a while to install since things get built from the source (through the uber cool Portage system using the emerge command) but it's worth it. I emerged Firefox with it and everything works right in it unlike when I use the pre-compiled binary version from mozilla.org. 'Tis great stuff. And don't worry, Portage is a lot better than the RPM.