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d_v310p3r 07-19-2004 01:26 PM

Installing and or Running a Program
Ok, I am a newbie, and I am proud to be making the switch to Linux.

I love the control that you have over the system, but I just don't know how to use that control yet.

The largest problem I am having is trying to figure out how to install an application. I guess I am too used to the Microsoft way of just running the install and then going into the Start menu to run it.

I am specifically having trouble with BitTornado and Opera.

My problem is that I don't understand how to install it. I have done most of the steps provided, like installing Python and wxPython. But the main problem is that I don't understand what I am doing, or what those programs do.

From the little I have read about or what i have heard about Python or installing and running programs in Linux, apparently you have to compile the programs yourself?

I guess I am asking for help with understand how to install and run programs in Linux. Please, I am really enjoying learning more about Linux and I hope to be able to use it as my main OS in the future.

Thank you,


Tino27 07-19-2004 03:21 PM

Generally speaking, regardless of the distrobution you are using, there are two ways to install new software onto your Linux system:

1) Download the source code, compile it, and then install it.
2) Download the pre-compiled binaries for your specific distrobution, and then install it.

The benefit of #1 is that when you compile it, it is compiled specifically for your system -- your processor, the libraries you already have installed, etc. The down side of this is that sometimes compiling will fail for quirky and strange reasons. There have been many packages where I have all of the required depedent libraries already installed and the configuration and compilation will still fail.

The benefit of #2 is that you don't have to compile anything. You simply install it using the package manager that your distrobution comes with (Red Hat is RPM, Slackware is 'pkgtool', etc.). The down side is that the program may or may not be specifically compiled to take advantage of the CPU that you have. Also, if you have any depedency issues (meaning that the package you are trying to install relies on several other packages), depending on the package manager you are using, it may or may not be real clear about helping you to figure out exactly what is missing.

If you choose to download and install source code, it is generally the following five steps.

tar -xvzf sourcecode.tar.gz
cd sourcecode
su -c "make install"

To install precompiled binaries, it is usually a one-line command (as root):

installpkg sourcecode.tgz (Slackware example)

Some people are hardcore one way or the other, other people have a mix between the two methods. One thing to keep in mind, however -- if you do decide to mix and match methods, the programs you compile and install yourself will not show up in your package management system. If at some point in the future you want to remove those packages, you will either have to do it by hand or some software packages support the "make uninstall" command from the original directory in which you compiled the software.

To run applications that you have installed, the simplest way is from a terminal session. For instance, if you want to run Evolution (mail client), from the command line, type


If you want to start Evolution and have control return back to the terminal session, type

evolution &

The addition of the "&" causes Evolution to start in the background and control to return to the terminal session that you invoked it from.

Depending on what window manager you decided to run, you can also setup desktop icons and menu bars. But that would be too complicated a discussion without knowing more about what GUI you've installed.

Hope that helps.

d_v310p3r 07-19-2004 05:57 PM

Thanks, that does help me understand the way that I am installing the app that I am trying to install. The question then becomes, Python. Apparently Python is a programming language. I have it installed, but when I am trying to run BitTornado using Python it tells me that I don't have wxPython installed. But yet I have ran the rpm -install and it told me that wxPython was installed correctly.

I am running Fedora Core 2.

vkichu 08-08-2004 10:51 AM

Did you get your BitTornado installed yet ?. I need help installing it too. If you had found any websites as pointers please let me know. I am trying to find any step by step how to's.

I just finished installing wxpython using yum, but not sure where to put the tat ball i downloaded from bitornado website. I am planning on reading the FAQ from bittornado website, but if completed your installation can you guide me through it.

getting to know linux better, enjoying the learning curve....


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