I must tell you... Linux is just the best and the most rewarding thing I've ever tried with computers. My first experience with Linux was not good either. That was about 4-5 years ago. But you will get there. Though, you will have to have a LOT of time to read and understand the programs you donwload. Usually, all you need is in the Readme that cames with the program and your distro CD's.
Here are some tips, I believe your questions will be answered eventually.
Sometimes you will dowload programs from source. That means you will have to compile it yourself cause there's no "exe" like in M$. Let's take an exemple from source. Let's say you've download a program called "gaim". It's full name is "gaim.20030303.tar.gz"
First, uncompress the file with:
You will uncompress it to gaim.20030303.tar and not the file get bigger. Uncompress now from the called tarball (tar)
tar -xvf gaim.20030303.tar.gz
Now it's your time to read the read me file which surely cames with gaim. It's into your uncompressed folder somewhere. Some programs may be compiled diferently. The "standard" should be:
This command will check for the installed components into your system. There, you will see if you can or not install gaim into your computer. If you get any error messages, for exemple, "gcc not installed", that means, indeed, you will have to install gcc into your computer. This usually comes with your CD's. RedHat uses "install or Remove Software" system, simply look after the program that "./configure" complained.
After that is simple to install it with
For more informations, read this post from one of our moderators:
Installing from RPM's. This usually is easier them from source code and much faster then compiling. You can usually use RPM's in any system which can handle, rpm's. Let's say again that this time, you've download gaim in rpm instead of source. it's now called gaim.20030303.rpm. to install it, the syntax is:
rpm -ivh gaim.20030303.rpm
That would install it direcly into your system. If not, will bring also error messages as ./configure. Write the error messages, they are missing files into your system that you will also probaly be able to install from your CD's. RedHat 9.0 is pretty new and should have anything you need, same to mandrake 9.x
For more informations about that, check this site out. It's from another guy in this forum who helped me a lot:
If my old RedHat 7.3 works is thanks to that page. Also, there's one last thing that you will love. It's a program called "apt-get" which was firstly created for Debian systems and not there's rpm's for us. It makes life of linux newbies user MUCH MUCH easier. It allows you to download most of the programs from the net, install, install the dependencies necessaries with only running a commando line. Exemples, to install gaim, simply type at your command line:
apt-get install gaim
DONE. Nothing more. it will update your packages, libraries, make the dependecies (so you don't need to use your CD's everytime you need to install something).
Want to install Mplayer? The best media player for linux, which kicks M$ Media Player arses? Do the same thing:
apt-get install mplayer
DONE. Not only the player, but also it's gui and everything. That easy and I have it running neat into my old RedHat 7.3 and fast as hell in an older machine.
You prefer AVfile to play DivX movies?
apt-get install avifile
With apt-get you can even update your system (apt-get dist-upgrade) and apt-get itselfs (apt-get update).
The page of this baby is here:
Make sure to read ALL documents before installing anything or you may blow your system. Doing as it says you can't go wrong. I highly recomend apt-get first, so you get your system up-to-date and can install everything as you choose (rpm's, from source or from the fantastic apt-get).
Good luck. Hope it was of any help and that you could understand my bad english as well