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Old 03-10-2006, 02:24 AM   #1
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Registered: Mar 2006
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A few questions on where to install new programmes.

Dear All,
Iíve just installed Mandrake Linux 10.1 (running Gnome) on my computer as Iíd had a very brief flirtation with Linux in the past and really enjoyed using it. Although I have a lot of experience with computers Iím a Linux newbie and I have a few newbie-type questions which I hope you donít mind me asking.
Firstly, I want to install other software but I am unsure in which directory to put the software where it can then be run from. I think I read somewhere that this software commonly goes into /usr/local/bin. If this is the case do extracted tarballs and RPMs go into this directory?
Secondly, how would I be able to get this software to run just by typing in its name on the command line? I assume this is something to do with a script in /usr/bin but, again, Iím not sure.
Finally, how would I get this programme to appear in the menus (I guess the Gnome equivalent of Windowís ďStartĒ button)?
Sorry if these questions are a bit daft. Thanks very much for any help any one can give me

Best wishes,
Old 03-10-2006, 02:42 AM   #2
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Registered: Jan 2005
Location: USA and Italy
Distribution: Debian testing/sid; OpenSuSE; Fedora; Mint
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When you install a program that is not part of the distribution, the install files can be anywhere(i.e. program.tar.gz, or program.rpm). I put them in /home/<user> subdirectory. Rpm's go where the rpm says they go. You just type "rpm -iv <rpmfile>, and let it rip. If there are any problems, a message will come up. For tarballs(i.e. program.tar.gz, or program.tar.bz2), you just extract the tarball. It doesn't matter where, as long as you know where it is.

tar zxvf <tarball>
(extract tarball)
cd <tarballextractdirectory>
(this is always the name of the tarball without the extensions tar.gz or tar.bz2)
./configure --help
(read the help for configure)
(read readme)
(create makefiles)
(make the binaries)
as root:
make install
(install the binaries)

You can make .desktop files for each program with the proper program, but what I do is put a link to the binary in /usr/bin(i.e. "ln -s /usr/local/bin/programexecutable /usr/bin/programexecutable). Sometimes /usr/local/bin is in the path. Then you don't need a link. If you try to run the program as root you might have to open a user shell and type "xhost +" first. Then the program will run as root. If you don't need to run the program as root, don't.


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