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Old 09-09-2000, 11:15 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2000
Location: SUNY Buffalo
Posts: 79

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About 3 weeks ago I was in a Linux chat room on an efnet server spreading my knowlege and wisdom to the masses. I noticed a person was inquiring about ssh and how to install it. Recently having installed ssh I sent the guy a message with offerings of help. He was curious about how to use RPM's and what was required for an RPM install of ssh. I advised him of the syntax for RPM, then suggested that perhaps installing from the source (ssh.tar.gz) would be better for the mere learning experience. He then stated, "Are tar.gz files compatible with Red Hat? I thought I could only install RPM files on Red Hat?" Well, needless to say I was horrified. It all became very clear to me, Red Hat had convinced at the VERY least one person that their package format of RPM was the only thing that would work on a Red Hat system. Is Red Hat creating a niche of Linux users who have no idea what source code is? Does this sound like any other company you might be familiar with? Linux's strength now and in the future is going to be in the unity of all parties concerned to take on it's competition.... is Red Hat causing fragmentation among the Linux community?
Old 09-10-2000, 12:55 PM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2000
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I don't think RedHat is intentionally causing a spilt in the Linux Community, however, RPM's are alot easier to deal with. To try to get new people to use linux, Redhat is trying to make it as easy as possible. Think about it, if you needed to compile every package that you wanted in, that would scare off the average Joe and Jill who know nothing about computers. This guy who you was spreading your wealth of knowledge to, obviously just started in Linux and hasn't learned alot yet, give it time. There will always be the hardcores that want to know more than just the surface.

My two cents!!!!
Old 09-17-2000, 07:03 PM   #3
Registered: Jun 2000
Distribution: Debian, Red Hat, Slackware, Fedora, Ubuntu
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This has actually be quite a hot topic as of late. First there was an article on Freashmeat, now it is on Slashdot. The Slashdot article is available here -

I personally don't mind RPM's although I usually compile from source. When I do use RPM's it is when I just want to test a program. If I don't like the program a quick rpm -e program and the program is gone. No hunting for install files, etc. That being said, I usually uninstall the RPM and compile the source if I do like the program.
Old 09-26-2000, 09:57 PM   #4
Registered: Sep 2000
Location: Michigan
Distribution: Redhat
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I don't think Redhat is intentionally trying to cause a problem either. However I do have some doubts about RPMs. I don't like the fact that they package binary code apart from source code.

I prefer to use tar.gz packages and compile them myself but occasionally use an RPM when they are readily available and I want to test a package quickly.

Concerning whether Redhat will try to pull some fast tricks, I don't think that is too likely, however I do have some concerns in this area, and believe we (The Linux community) should always be vigilant. I do not beleive the engineers and programmers who use Linux and expecially those who wrote it and document it will allow corporations to hijack the system. It is up to us to try to keep users informed concerning Linux and its available tools.

I think that is why many of us have created websites (including this one) to help provide information about Linux.
Old 10-13-2000, 01:59 PM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2000
Location: CT, USA
Distribution: Zenwalk
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I know this is not the proper place to ask such a newbie type question but here goes (flame suit on) - How do you compile your own programs? Is it as simple as:

tar -xvft filename
make install

Is it just like that? Is there a certain place I need to do this from? or can I just do it from my /home/<user> directory?

I do know of one good thing about rpm's, that is one way to find out what dependencies programs will have.

I use Mandrake and they use mostly rpm's ala RH. But I've been afraid to use RH rpms with mandrake, maybe is that gnome-libs-1.2.4-6mdk.i386.rpm is different than gnome-libs-1.2.4-6.i386.rpm. Any truth in that?

Again I apologize for posting this on the wrong forum, sorry.
Old 10-14-2000, 09:41 PM   #6
Registered: Sep 2000
Location: Michigan
Distribution: Redhat
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Installing packages

I agree with you that RPM has some useful features such as being able to tell if a package is already installed, however I still like to use tarred and zipped packages. I keep track of package installations on my system myself.

You are essentially correct about the installation of tar.gz packages. However, some packages vary slightly between one and another so normally to see the installation instructions you de compress the package and read the README and/or INSTALL text file which tells you how to complete the process. The make commands invoke make files

You can find more complete information on doing package installations including RPMs at:
Item 21 describes package installation. Also I think there is a howto on the subject at the LDP. The tar man page will also list the available options for unpacking the file.

If you have a c program you want to compile, normally you use a command like:
gcc programname.c -o programname

Old 10-29-2000, 03:36 PM   #7
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Registered: Oct 2000
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Newbie Question Answer

How i configure most software (generic installs) is to:
cd to the directory where the contents of the archeive is
Unarcheive (tar xvfz filename.tar.gz)
Create a make file (./configure)
Make (make)
Change to root (su)
Make Install (make install)
This usually works.


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