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Old 10-06-2004, 02:34 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2004
Distribution: Fedora Core 4
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Question Software Installation

I'm a extremely new to Linux ... one weeks on Suse 9.1 actually. I've a fairly easy time adapting so far, however I a bit stumped on the "right" way to install software. I'm an intermediate java programmer and use alot of meida apps. I'm used to setting env paths on my winXp box and installing programs for one, some or all users on the machine. I'm not so sure how I can do this in linux. What directory(s) do I install programs in if I want exclusive and/or universal user privileges to programs ? I currenly use apt to get and install most of my packages now, and I have no idea how to compile them on my own...... yet.
Old 10-06-2004, 02:48 AM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: France
Distribution: Arch Linux
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This question is a bit broad, but here are a few things to know:

- / and /usr are for apt-/rpm-managed packages.
- /opt is for non-packaged software, *if* this software is self-contained in one directory, such as Java, Netscape Communicator...
- /usr/local is for non-packaged software, that follows the Unix standard: binaries in bin/, libraries in lib/, and so on.

Most source tarballs (tar.gz, tar.bz2) you'll compile will end up in /usr/local. Most of the time, you'll just have to do that:
./configure --help (read available options)
./configure (+ maybe options you want to use)
make (build the software)
make install (install it)
Only this last step needs to be done as root.

Whatever the method for building/installing the software, you're bound to have required/optional dependences. You'll be told about those by error messages while compiling, or errors/warnings during the configure-step. So look closely at warnings and errors.
Install needed dependencies with rpm/apt, or by building them yourself.

Setting environment variables for everyone is done in /etc/profile; same for a group of people, except you'll have to test for the group (gid) yourself.
Setting environment variables for one person is done in this person's .profile file in their home-directory.

User-/group-permissions in Linux (and Unix in general) is done for each file, and does not depend on the location of those files.
man chmod
man chgrp
man chown

I hope this helps.

Old 10-06-2004, 04:24 AM   #3
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Google up a copy of 'Newbie's Linux Manual' for the very-new-to Linux.
Old 10-06-2004, 05:30 PM   #4
Registered: Oct 2004
Distribution: Fedora Core 4
Posts: 91

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