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Old 05-11-2007, 03:01 AM   #1
jacatone
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Why does KDE and Linux have all these package programs


I'm trying out Mepis v6.5.02 with KDE 3.5. I'm confused about all these different package programs. There's Synaptic, Kpackage, apt-get , tarballs, debs, rpm, source code, etc. I'm confused by all this and don't understand the need for such complexity. Plus, with Synaptic I wanted to download gkdial which said it was 43k but when I started downloading it said it needed 48 megs and would take 4 1/2 hours to complete. Could someone explain how all this works? Thanks.
 
Old 05-11-2007, 03:56 AM   #2
netstrider
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When you download something via a package manager like Synaptic, it shows the size of the application, once you click ok it will show you the dependencies (in other words, what is needed to make this program work/run), that is probably what happened and that can easily be up to 48MB. I.E: I have XFCE, Evolution is a relatively small mail client, but because it is based on the Gnome graphical user interface (GUI), it needs to download several core components in order to be able to run.

The package formats are like .exe's in windows (binary packages), however debian and all debian based distributions use .deb, rpm is for red-hat based distributions (mostly) and .tgz is Slackware etc. These will mostly install by just using a single command such as rpm -i <filename.rpm> or dpkg -i <filename.deb>...and will in most cases resolve the dependencies from repositories as much as it can and install it fore you. Some distributions concist all out of source thus a tarball is nothing more than a package, however a tarball with an extension with bz2 or gz means it's a compressed package in bzip format etc. The source is on the inside and needs to be compiled.

That said, mepis is originally a Debian-based distribution, you'd probably not want to try installing rpm's, source and .deb's are fine however.

For further help on installing software: http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/lin...tml#post344053 - Excellent read, shows you how to install from each package formate and major package managers such as apt-get and yum etc...

Hope this helps a bit

Last edited by netstrider; 05-11-2007 at 04:01 AM.
 
Old 05-11-2007, 04:06 AM   #3
taxtropel
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software comes in packages

Software in Linux comes in packages.
Packages Usually contain the binary (compiled) versions of libraries and software that you use in linux.

it is complex because linux is complex

Linux is not an OS for people who don't know how to use PC
for that there is windows and macOS

linux comes in different flavors called distributions
many distributions are based on different ways to packages software RPMs from Red Hat. DEBs from debain. etc...

there are different programs for handling said packages
such as Kpackage or Synaptic or rpm or apt-get or dpkg

Source Code is what is before the software is compiled (usable by the computer) source code is the bit that the human types in to make a computer program.

Windows also uses software packages called CAB files

if you understand what a zip file is then you are half way there
(btw a .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 (tarball) is just another type of "zip" file)

most package managers (the program in charge of installing and keeping track) are designed around the ability to handle dependencies (dependencies are other software or libraries that a program may need to run)

in the case of gkdial it may need other packages in order to do it's job...these other packages can be large and numerous (although I don't know why they would be).

anyhow if you are using KDE and need a program to dial the internet for you, then use KPPP

ALSO: READ READ READ READ
linux if for people who can read alot

good websites are this one and www.linux.org and such
lookfor HOWTOs

also there should be lots of documentation in your distribution
read through the KDE help program
(it's on the start menu)

READ READ READ...I know..it sucks.

DEB files : Debian, Ubuntu, Mepis, etc...
RPM files : Redhat, Arklinux, Mandriva (aka Mandrake), etc...
TGZ files : Slackware, VectorLinux, Slamd64, etc...
.tar.gz, .gz, .tar.bz2, .bz2 files are like .zip files
 
Old 05-11-2007, 06:42 AM   #4
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacatone
I'm trying out Mepis v6.5.02 with KDE 3.5. I'm confused about all these different package programs. There's Synaptic, Kpackage, apt-get , tarballs, debs, rpm, source code, etc. I'm confused by all this and don't understand the need for such complexity. Plus, with Synaptic I wanted to download gkdial which said it was 43k but when I started downloading it said it needed 48 megs and would take 4 1/2 hours to complete. Could someone explain how all this works? Thanks.
A lot of what you list is overlapping...the easy way to deal with it is one step at a time.

For starters, use Synaptic to install software whereever possible. If something is not available through Synaptic, the first line of defense is to enable some of the alternative repositories.
The (huge) benefit of using the package manager is that it tracks all of the dependencies for you.

If you cannot find something in any of the Mepis / Ubuntu repositories, then you can install a .deb package with apt-get, and you can install .rpm package with alien. The only downside is that you now have to track down any dependencies that might pop up.

The last resort is downloading source code and compiling. this is not all that difficult, but don't try it until you are comfortable with other things.

48Mbytes in 4.5 hours---sounds like dial-up. Linux can be frustrating without a high-speed connection---get one if at all possible.
(But then, how does that download compare with driving to the store for every new SW you want to install--or waiting for it to be shipped...?)
 
Old 05-11-2007, 07:56 AM   #5
bouchecl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacatone
I'm trying out Mepis v6.5.02 with KDE 3.5. I'm confused about all these different package programs. There's Synaptic, Kpackage, apt-get , tarballs, debs, rpm, source code, etc. I'm confused by all this and don't understand the need for such complexity. Plus, with Synaptic I wanted to download gkdial which said it was 43k but when I started downloading it said it needed 48 megs and would take 4 1/2 hours to complete. Could someone explain how all this works? Thanks.
As previous posters mentioned, you just entered the world of package installers and dependencies.

Your typical Linux program relies on functions and libraries developed by different groups of users. Your gkdial program is probably a graphic frontend to a bunch of small programs. This approach makes it easy to update and upgrade your software, since you only need to download the updated parts (library 'foo' (24K), required by program 'bar' (40M)) instead of downloading a complete version of the new program. And once installed, the various libraries can be used by other programs, so you don't have to download them twice.

When you install your favorite program with a package manager (be it synaptic, kpackage or apt-get on Debian distributions or yum and rpm on Red Hat-based ones), the installer program reads the information about the program you want to install and shops around to get all necessary bits in different software boutiques, called repositories. Then, it proceeds with the download and installation.

Many repositories include the code in a binary format specific to your CPU type and architecture (i386, x86_64, ppc, alpha, noarch) and in source code format (if you have a special need or if you want to tweak the code to fit your need). Most people just download the binaries for their architecture.

Hope it makes more sense...
 
Old 05-11-2007, 10:20 AM   #6
stealth_banana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxtropel

Linux is not an OS for people who don't know how to use PC
for that there is windows and macOS
I would argue with that. I gave an old PC to my mother with kubuntu on, she has never used a computer before, and now she knows how to use it, well, browse, email VoIP and type up the odd letter. And I don't have to worry about fixing virii and other evils of the windoze world.

Anyway. back to the original questions. Like most things Linux offers lots of choice. Synaptic, kpackage, adept, yast, aptitude, yum etc. are all basically front ends to the basic command line instructions to install stuff. Some do more than others. If you don't like one try another, linux is about choice and freedom to do what you want.

I personally use synaptic for installing, but occasionally use kpackage as it is easier to inspect the contents of files.

Sounds like you are on dial up, If I were you I would get hold of a full distro on DVD and just use that for installing from until you get a faster net connection.

Last edited by stealth_banana; 05-11-2007 at 10:21 AM.
 
Old 05-11-2007, 10:39 AM   #7
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxtropel
it is complex because linux is complex
Linux is only as complex as you make it. See next comment
Quote:
Originally Posted by taxtropel
Linux is not an OS for people who don't know how to use PC
for that there is windows and macOS
I too disagree....
My wife is the perfect example (not being sexist--there are men like this too, but they are less apt to admit it.. ): She will NEVER learn to use a computer in the sense of doing installation, setup, filesystem maintentance, etc. She does TASKS--e-mail, browsing, searches with Google, and some letter-writing. Linux does everything she needs--and very well thank you.

I have written before about what I call the Windows monopoly paradox: People whose computing needs are very simple and limited could be running on Linux with no problem--they are also the least likely to challenge the status quo.

The activists (many of us here) who want the computer to sing, dance, and do origami--we are the one's who sometimes have difficulty running Linux

Last edited by pixellany; 05-11-2007 at 10:41 AM.
 
Old 05-12-2007, 01:18 PM   #8
Boow
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I hate when program depend on you having kde or gnome installed. Say you just had fluxbox installed you needed a gnome package. its gonna download half of gnome to satisfy deps.
 
Old 05-14-2007, 09:18 AM   #9
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boow
I hate when program depend on you having kde or gnome installed. Say you just had fluxbox installed you needed a gnome package. its gonna download half of gnome to satisfy deps.
Any application is going to have some libraries on which it depends. Otherwise, every application that you installed would be huge---you would wind up duplicating a whole bunch of common code.

If you install something like GIMP--which uses GTK and GDK, it's not going to "download half of Gnome"---it will only download what it needs to run GIMP.

If you don't want your SW to depend on other libraries, then pick different SW!!!!
 
Old 05-14-2007, 11:42 PM   #10
KevinAlaska
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by taxtropel

Linux is not an OS for people who don't know how to use PC
for that there is windows and macOS

I would argue with that. I gave an old PC to my mother with kubuntu on, she has never used a computer before, and now she knows how to use it, well, browse, email VoIP and type up the odd letter. And I don't have to worry about fixing virii and other evils of the windoze world.
I agree too. I setup ubuntu for my mother in law... I had to tell her over the phone how to turn on the computer after setting down with her in her home when I gave her computer. which was an old system of mine.

but none the less she is able to get her email and such with now with out knowing much more then powering up and logging in and then powering back down.

You do need PC expertise if you ever plan to go much beyond that point. But Linux in 10 years, can you imagine how awesome it will be used. Probably no more problems with all these different kinds of packages not being compatible or not. They are working on standardization after all. I am sure most of you remember what Linux was like just a few years back.

Cheers

Kevin in Alaska
 
  


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