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Old 06-07-2005, 02:41 AM   #1
EliasAlucard
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Linux software installer?


Firefox has a shell script installer for Linux. Why doesn't every other Linux software have it? I think it's a pretty cool alternative to all the distro specific rpm files, and compile from source software. I mean, one simple installer work on every Linux distro, right? If I've got it right, it's because most Linux hardcore users don't like shell scripts because of allegedly being less secure? Is this true? Even if it is, I think it should be a choice to install from shell scripts for the n00bs like me. I mean, I don't want to be able to hack NASA just to install software on Linux

Update 2006-05-10:

I've finally returned to Windows now, and I'm not going back to Linux anytime soon (probably never). Anyway, I wrote this rant on my website dedicated to this thread.

http://www.eliasalucard.com/linuxshit.html

Internet Explorer is blocked, so try another browser.

Last edited by EliasAlucard; 05-09-2006 at 04:59 PM.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 03:34 AM   #2
reddazz
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The firefox package is a precompiled binary and some other software already ships in that format. The only problem that I see with that method is that packages may end up shipping their own libraries instead of making use of shared libraries, and end up consuming a lot disk space. Also the one size fits all method already exists in the form of compiling from source. RPM, deb and other package formats are there to save you time and effort when managing packages, but you have to make sure you understand what you are doing (i.e. learn your OS like you would learn something new) or you will face problems.

Last edited by reddazz; 06-07-2005 at 03:51 AM.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 03:38 AM   #3
theYinYeti
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Reason is simple. Such software:
- either relies on you to make sure dependencies are installed, and we don't want that;
- or (which is more common) simply comes bundled with all that it needs.

If we were to only install auto-installers like that, we'd end up with GTK and QT libraries installed a dozen times each, only at a different place each time, and we would also take the risk that two such installers may want to install a different version of the same library at the same place. Have you ever heard of the DLL Hell? That's it. And we don't want that too.

Package management as done today in Linux is the right way to do, IMO. Most problems people have come from:
- either a badly packaged program: then it is this package's fault, not the packaging system's;
- or the user trying and installing a package that does not fit their distribution: it is then the user's fault.

Yves.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 03:38 AM   #4
oneandoneis2
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From memory, OpenOffice has a similar installer.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 04:48 AM   #5
EliasAlucard
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Why isn't there a universal Linux software executable installer that works on every Linux distro, much like *.exe works on Windows? The Firefox installer seems to be the closest to that. At least from what I've been able to find.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 04:54 AM   #6
reddazz
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Quote:
Originally posted by EliasAlucard
Why isn't there a universal Linux software executable installer that works on every Linux distro, much like *.exe works on Windows? The Firefox installer seems to be the closest to that. At least from what I've been able to find.
We have just been explaining that in our posts above.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 05:16 AM   #7
__J
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my problem with binary installers ( though i still use some of them, like firefox) is they don't give you options like source does. have you ever looked at the compile time options of firefox? there are alot, but with the binary installer you get what someone else decides is best for you.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 05:38 AM   #8
theYinYeti
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Same with binary .RPM or .DEB, though some of them allow for some modularity (apache, xmms...).

Yves.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 06:24 AM   #9
hand of fate
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Quote:
Originally posted by __J
my problem with binary installers ( though i still use some of them, like firefox) is they don't give you options like source does. have you ever looked at the compile time options of firefox? there are alot, but with the binary installer you get what someone else decides is best for you.
I'm sure the Firefox installer DOES give options. The main advantage of interactive installers is that they do take you through a series of options about how you want to install the software, unlike systems like RPM which only perform on pre-defined installation.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 06:38 AM   #10
reddazz
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Quote:
Originally posted by hand of fate
I'm sure the Firefox installer DOES give options. The main advantage of interactive installers is that they do take you through a series of options about how you want to install the software, unlike systems like RPM which only perform on pre-defined installation.
The Firefox package doesn't give you any configuration options unless you compile from source. The installer is a precompiled binary just like an rpm or a deb. The only difference between the installer and an rpm or deb file is that it asks the user where to install.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 06:41 AM   #11
EliasAlucard
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Quote:
Originally posted by reddazz
We have just been explaining that in our posts above.
Yeah, but I was like more referring to without the downsides you were explaining. I mean, Linux is after all open source; it shouldn't be difficult to accomplish this, right? A unified omni(Linux)present software installer format would be totally pwnage in my opinion.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 08:07 AM   #12
craigevil
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Why is there a new thread on the packaging issue every few days? The package management system that comes with most distro is just fine the way it is. The different distros do things their own way. Find one that works for you.
That said there are a couple of groups working on some type of "standard."

Linux Standard Base Project(Debian already supports LSB files/apps)
"To develop and promote a set of standards that will increase compatibility among Linux distributions and enable software applications to run on any compliant system. In addition, the LSB will help coordinate efforts to recruit software vendors to port and write products for Linux."
http://www.linuxbase.org/

"This is autopackage, the multi-distribution binary packaging framework for Linux systems.
* Build packages that will install on many different distros
* Multiple front ends: best is automatically chosen so GUI users get a graphical front end, and command line users get a text based interface
* Multiple language support (both in tools and for your own packages)
* Automatically verifies and resolves dependencies no matter how the software was installed. This means you don't have to use autopackage for all your software, or even any of it, for packages to succesfully install." http://autopackage.org/
 
Old 06-07-2005, 09:45 AM   #13
EliasAlucard
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Quote:
Originally posted by craigevil
Why is there a new thread on the packaging issue every few days? The package management system that comes with most distro is just fine the way it is. The different distros do things their own way. Find one that works for you.
That said there are a couple of groups working on some type of "standard."
Why do you think? The main issue with converting from Windows to Linux is the software. 90% of the computer users don't know how to compile from source, or what rpm package they should choose, etc. I'm not saying that Linux should be like Windows, but Linux is so far from a standard that it's painful and confusing sometimes.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 10:01 AM   #14
Jimbo99
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Most of the responses are very over simplified and with a bent toward the old Linux ways, which are going out the door. There's a group of people that are perpetuating these outdated ways that are frankly negative to the success of linux.

Linux installers MUST go some way other than distro specific packages. At www.autopackager.org there's a good description of why you are right and why these guys are wrong. What you are reading in response are many biased and uneducated responses. Once you read the FAQ from www.autopackager.org you'll understand why they are 1) biased and 2) uneducated.

Your question is appropriate. Distro specific packagers are anti-Linux, anti-computer, and anti-user.

This question is being posed hundreds and thousands of times a day in the linux community and probably tens of thousands of times by people who don't post in threads like these.

The fact that it is being asked is indicative of the fact that there are serious problems which need to be resolved and soon.

The responses you seem to have received appear to lend themselves to perpetuating a system from individuals who are not necessarily the best people to be responding, mostly because they are just following what they have been tought and they haven't taken the time to study the reasons why they are wrong.

Let's hope that these individuals either 1) learn, or 2) maybe establish an arena where they can fulfil their own wishes while not pushing their views down the throats of the users. I have no problems with them keeping their system the way they want it as long as there's a system that addresses this problem, resolves this problem, and allows the whole of the community to move forward instead of becoming stagnant in the "old linux ways".
 
Old 06-07-2005, 10:11 AM   #15
mrcheeks
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I almost never download a file by myself or deal with dependencies issues. If i want firefox i use synaptic/apt-get/aptitude and that's it!
 
  


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