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Old 06-29-2006, 01:13 AM   #1
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How to install anything

Hi I am a super newbie at Linux. I am just confused on how to install software in Linux. I normally download my tar.gz and tar files in a folder named "MyDownloads". So to install I navigate to MyDownloads folder and unzip them gzip -d file.tar.gz tar -xvf file.tar.. So this is where I get confused. Now that every software that I unzip is in "MyDownloads" and I dont want to install all software in that folder. I dont think this is the right place to put them. So where is the right place to unzip a tar file at? Unlike Windows everything you installed is under Program Files. Is there a folder like "Program Files that I can unzip all the software to?

thank you
Old 06-29-2006, 01:22 AM   #2
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One of the great beauties of *nix is you can do most anything you want. It is very convenient in many ways to compile in your home directory (or MyDownloads or whatever). Since you have read and write permissions there. The step make install will put the necessary files where they need to go.

That being said, the "correct" place to compile software is usually /usr/local. That is fine, although usually to write to /usr/local you need to be root.

Also, you're making much work for yourself both unzipping and then extracting files from the tar. Check out the man page for tar. Adding -z unzips gzipped files, and -j unzips bzip2 files. So the way I would compile on your system would be comething like newapp.tar.gz would be:

cd /usr/local
tar -zxvf /home/me/MyDownloads/newapp.tar.gz
cd newapp
make install
Old 06-29-2006, 01:55 AM   #3
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The MyDownloads is probably the best place to download and untar you tarballs.
Then you only need to su to root before the "make install" phase. This will copy the program, library files and manpages where they need to go, usually under /usr or /usr/local. After the "make install" phase, you can delete the directory that you compiled the source from, and keep just the tarball. If there are quite a few tarballs building up over time, you can back them up to cdrom in case you need to reinstall later.

I do the same thing, except, I call my directory "downloads" instead.
Old 06-29-2006, 06:49 AM   #4
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Its better to use your distro package manager to install software.

But, if you want to compile and install from source code, you can put it in say, /home/foobar/installs directory. You can specify with --prefix option to ./configure as to where you want to install the binaries as well. But, all these are for developers and testers.
Old 06-29-2006, 06:57 AM   #5
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tzpow2K2, what distro are you using? As x86processor appears to be hinting, you may be making life harder for yourself by installing from source!
Old 06-29-2006, 08:56 PM   #6
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There is one advantage to having the source. Some packages have a "make pdf" or "make ps" target to generate printable, or at least more readable versions of the documentation. I have downloaded source RPMs of select packages that I have already installed to be able to print out the documentation. The "Gawk: Effective Awk Programming" book is excellent. You may be able to get this from a gawk-doc package. The regular awk manual from the gawk package source is also very good.
Old 07-07-2006, 12:13 PM   #7
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thank everyone for replying and looking. Now I know how to install new softwares. But I just downloaded Email-Send-2.11.tar.gz from and I have Perl installed already few months ago. I am sorry but I am confused again and please correct me if i am wrong. Email-Send-2.11.tar.gz is not an individual software. It is one of Perl's modules right? So I just downloaded that and extracted in usr/local however I can't get it to work and have this message Can't locate Email/ in @INC
So I assume that i must have extracted in the wrong place. What should I do and where should I extract in situation like this?

Old 07-07-2006, 12:16 PM   #8
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You could try reading the installation instructions.
Old 07-07-2006, 01:38 PM   #9
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useful info thanks alot


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