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Old 09-02-2006, 10:18 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Sep 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Distribution: Novell SUSE 10.1
Posts: 20

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New Linux user-don't know how to install software

I am a brand new (about 2 days) SUSE 10.1 linux user. In my home, I have one PC now that SUSE 10.1 resides on. Beyond SUSE 10.1's basic install I don't have anything else installed (as far as I know). I do have a DSL connection to the internet, though. I also have Windows 2000 PCs, and am very familiar with how to download and install windows applications, but I'd like some info on how to download and install Linux applications. Downloading and installing Windows apps is EASY: after download (also easy), just run the setup.exe file. For Linux: I don't know the difference between rpm fiels and tar.gz(?) files. I'm afraid if I make a single mis-step in trying to download or install anything, I'll wreck something in my system. These questions are so basic, I'm sure, to all of you, that I'd be happy to settle for someone just pointing me to a web link somewhere that could explain these things to me. Thank you. I can check here for answers, or, if anyone would like to email me, I'm at
Old 09-02-2006, 10:37 AM   #2
LQ Addict
Registered: Jul 2002
Location: East Centra Illinois, USA
Distribution: Debian stable
Posts: 5,903

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SuSE is an rpm based Linux distro. That doesn't mean that it can use rpm's from other distros, though. When downloading rpms, try to get versions for SuSe 10.1. Rpms install in much the same way that windows .exe files. From within your file manager, left click on the rpm you want to install, and you will be prompted whether or not to install.

You can also go to the main menu, click on Control Center -> YaST2 -> Software -> Install and Remove. Click on the Administrator button, then enter the root password (root is the system administrator, that's you, as opposed to you logged in as normal user). Enter the root password. In a few seconds, a screen comes up. In the top drop-down list box, click on the down arrow, select Package Groups. SuSE loads a database of all the software on the installation media, and which are currently installed. Scroll down to the bottom of the Package groups list, and click on ZZZall to get the full list in alphabetical order. Click once in the box on the left to select software to install. Click on the Accept or Apply button on the bottom right, and you will be prompted for which cd/dvd to put in the drive (from your installation set).

You will also come across .src.rpm files. They are source code files which have to be compiled into installable binary rpms which then can be installed normally.

Tar.gz files are compressed (with the gzip utility) Tape ARchives (tar). They are usually source code files to be compiled. Occaisionally, you will find one which is a binary which only needs to be untarred to give a runnable application.

There are other package formats used by other distros, such as: .deb, used by Debian and derivatives; tgz, used by Slackware and derivatives.

For all things Linux, is your friend. Use it to research questions, search for howtos and tutorials, etc.

Last edited by bigrigdriver; 09-02-2006 at 10:39 AM.
Old 09-05-2006, 08:09 PM   #3
Registered: Oct 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu 12.04 X86_64
Posts: 960

Rep: Reputation: 35
the definative thread about Suse software installs with howtos on how to fix all the broen bits in Yast. or at least a good workaround with smart.
also i suggest you hand around teh suse forum and the newbie forum here, both will be helpfull to you.
(suse fourum is under distrobutions/suse_novell)


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