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Old 04-14-2009, 10:18 AM   #1
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installing software and getting online

I am new to linux. I have tried using Linux (several version) in past few years and get so frustrated with the difficulty of installing software. I want to learn Linux because more frustrating than my last is WINDOWS. MS is garbage and constantly crashes. Vista runs like trying to use windows 3.0. I have googled countless of times how to install software I downloaded for Linux, and the directions do not work. I have tried it with yast and command screen. command screen gives me the not found message. yast geez... what can i do? what are the best formats to download? .tar ? what? I currently have SUSE 11.1 I can only get online through wired. the wireless although it's on, seeing the router, and showing "connecting" it wont connect. after attempting to it just says "not connected". Many of the forums I've read give directions but "one" has to have some knowledge. I have none. Heck the command screen has 3 different ways to use it, wether root or not. HELP HELP HELP.
Old 04-14-2009, 10:31 AM   #2
Simon Bridge
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Location: Waiheke NZ
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It sounds like you've been following the Windows paradigm for installing software - this is where you download files from the internet and, somehow, run them. If you got a zip file for your software, which expanded to a folder and an "install.exe" file, you'd be fine right?

What you want to check out is Ubuntu (or any Debian based distro).

Ubuntu itself installs in about six mouse clicks.
(With the usual caveat that your HW must be supported - this is the same for all OSs. Wireless cards, for eg, are notorious for requiring special software to run.)

Installing additional software is managed by a menu item called "Add/Remove Software" which gives you the most popular choices. You can search for particular functionality using synaptic, check the box, and click "apply". If you know exactly what you want, then you can go commandline with apt-get... very often "apt-get program-name" will get what you want.

It is highly unusual that the repos cannot provide you with the functionality that you want.

That sound like what you need?

If you want to stick with OpenSUSE, that's fine. Just say so and we can deal to those HW issues.

You do need to realize, though, that gnu/linux's strength comes from it's well educated community. We realise that some people do not have the time or the inclination to learn how their computers work - that's fine and we wish them luck.

Last edited by Simon Bridge; 04-14-2009 at 10:33 AM.
Old 04-14-2009, 02:18 PM   #3
Registered: Apr 2009
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This sounds like an attempt to run (assumably Windows) software on a Linux box. In some cases possible by running these within wine in emulated form, but this doesn't work always properly.

Yast will allow to install software that is especially made for Linux, maybe even specifically for SUSE.

If you need to run Windows application on Linux, you can also try to run a full Windows system in VMplayer as a virtual system. That way you have both Linux and Window next to each other.

Last edited by Tinkster; 10-30-2010 at 04:26 PM.
Old 04-15-2009, 10:23 AM   #4
Simon Bridge
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That .BIN file sounds like that - yeah... I'm seeing this confusion increasingly as we get more long-time windows users making the switch. Previously I mostly saw geeks (who are used to changing paradigms) and computer novices (unfamiliar with anything OS related).

But maybe I've just been lucky.

To this kind of experienced windows user - when something don't go it means a driver is missing. To get a driver, you go to the website of the computer or HW manufacturer and search it. Maybe you google for the driver.

Trouble is, many third-party driver sites include the word "linux" someplace on their pages ... so you can easily get false-positive hits for "linux driver".

A newbie can be forgiven for getting confused and trying to install the windows binary. I mean - we don't even have .exe files, right? Who would figure, after uing (say) XP or so many years that an OS would actually supply most drivers built-in, or that someone would have written non-intrusive software to manage the rest of the software stuff for you?

This is where getting hold of a local LUG can really pay off for the newcomer. Attend an installfest. Also why we have to keep running them. And it's another reason to put your location in your profile - there is a good chance someone knows how to contact your local lug

Mostly it's just reassurance - you are not going mad and it does make sence.

I sympathise from the other direction... I've used a windows box so seldom now that I've mostly forgotten how they work. When I do have occasion to rediscover - I am struck by what kinds of things end up being normal.


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