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Old 12-31-2005, 06:17 AM   #1
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installing software on linux box

Can someone here please explain how to install software on a redhat box. I would like to know all options for rpms but I also see tar stuff. For example, firefox uses a tar.gz I guess manily I just want to be able to install whatever app I want know matter what form its in.
Old 12-31-2005, 06:22 AM   #2
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Most .tar.gz (or .tar.bz2 for that matter) contains source code that needs to be compiled. For this, you'll need development tools installed (like gcc). There is a guide to compiling programs from source here.

Firefox doesn't need to be compiled, you just untar it, which will create a directory you can go into and find the executable. The instructions for Firefox can be found here.
Old 12-31-2005, 06:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by watts3000
I guess manily I just want to be able to install whatever app I want know matter what form its in.
That's quite a tall order....

There are 3 basic ways to install:
Packages---eg .rpm and .deb
Direct---usually thru some kind of script
Source---Compiling on your machine

Packages are done with a package manager on your system. RedHat is one of many distros that use RPM. You can use the GUI package manager or you can use the "rpm" command in a terminal.

suffixes like .tar, .gz, .bz, etc. have nothing to do with installing SW---they are simply ways of assembling and compressing groups of files.

If the application comes with .tar and/or .gz, .bz---then you start by uncompressing and unpacking the files. The "tar" command does all this---see "man tar" for the details.
After "un-tarring" an archive, you are typically left with a folder. This **might** be source files, but not always---you might find .rpm or just an installer script. If I remember correctly, Thunderbird just runs whereever you unpack it---no install step.

As always, read the instructions for the particular thing you are installing.


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