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The_Messiah 07-11-2004 11:46 PM

Installing .rpm and .tar.gz
I was wondering how I go about installing .rpm and .tar.gz and .tgz files.

Any help is appreciated.

zulfilee 07-12-2004 12:26 AM


rpm -ivh packagename -> TO install package

rpm -qip packagename ->To view package information before install

rpm -e packagename ->To uninstall package

rpm -q package ->To view if package is already inastalled

For tar.gz and tgz Both are same files with different extensions.

less filename ->TO view contents

tar -zxvf filename ->To untar the files

And if it has a READ me follow it for install[Normally ./configure , make and make
install is used .But see READme first before installing]


XavierP 07-12-2004 02:45 AM - Trickykid wrote a nice concise how to.

motub 07-12-2004 08:31 AM

Could someone explain to me why everybody answers a Mandrake's user's questions about installing software without even mentioning urpmi or RPMDrake? Not just here, either. Sorry, but this is a pet peeve of mine.

Anyway... Mandrake specific instructions:

Now in general, Mandrake has perfectly fine documentation, but I really have to give it a rasberry given that so many new users have no idea how to find the Mandrake repositories and use RPMDrake to install software from them. Since RPMDrake is one of the centerpiece jewels of the distro, I consider this a serious problem.

But OK. I will explain this again, because I'm on a (minor) mission to save Mandrake from itself . Other than this really unnecessary problem for new migrators, it's a fab distro.


The 1-3 CDs you downloaded/got from a magazine/whatever contain the base Mandrake software and many extras. However, there are thousands of applications and games available that aren't on those CDs, and that you usually get from the Internet. A piece of software is in general known as a package, but a package may come in one of two forms: source packages, and binary packages.

Source packages have to be compiled by the user; binary packages are precompiled, so they only need to be installed. Wherever possible, you want to install binary packages for your distribution. Herein lies the rub. Mandrake is an RPM distribution, which means that precompiled binaries will end in the file extension *.rpm. However, Mandrake is not the only RPM distro (SuSE and RedHat/Fedora come to mind as examples of 2.5 others)-- and RPMs compiled for SuSE or RedHat are not compatible with Mandrake, and vice-versa.

This is why there are repositories. These are collections of packages, mirrored all over the world, for each distribution. The Mandrake repositories have thousands of packages (I mean thousands), all ready to download and install. But first, you have to know where they are, and then you have to tell Mandrake where they are.

The fastest, easiest way to deal with this is to add repositories to your Software Media Manager. Go to Kicker/Foot=>Configuration=>Configure your computer; or just click the Mandrake Control Center icon on your panel, then go to Software Management and you will see the Software Media Manager. Unfortunately, it only contains the CDs you installed from as sources for additional software. That is still necessary, and can be useful, but you want to add external sources from the Internet.

Here's how:

Go to Easy URPMI, and follow the instructions there to add external repositories to your Software Sources Manager. If you're on dial-up, make sure to check the "Use compressed index, much smaller than normal, with less informations" checkbox.

The instruction "Type this in a terminal as root" is performed as follows:

1) Open a terminal.

2) Type su and hit enter.

3) Type the root password at the Password: prompt and hit Enter. The password will not be echoed to the screen, even with stars, so type carefully.

4) If the password was correctly typed, the prompt should change from a "$" which indicates user access, to a "#" which indicates root access. All commands typed into this terminal window from this point on will be performed as if root had requested them. If this does not work (and you have correctly entered the root password), the problem is that the user is not a member of the wheel group; go to the Mandrake User Management tool in the Mandrake Control Center and add the user to that group, then try steps 2 and 3 again.

5) Select and copy one line of output from the Easy URPMI page (from urpmi.addmedia to or depending on whether you checked the "use compressed index" box) and paste that line into the root terminal using CTRL+Shift+V (Ctrl+Shift+V is the "Paste" keybinding for gnome-terminal; it's Shift+Insert if you use Konsole, and middle mouse button-- or right and left buttons together if you don't have a middle button or wheel/button-- in an xterm). You should see the repository being added before you are returned to the prompt. Repeat for all repositiores listed in the Easy URPMI Step 3 output.

You should now be able to open RPMDrake (Mandrake Control Center=>Software Management=>RPMDrake (Install Software) and see a great deal of software available for download and installation. You will see even more if you change the filter at the top of the dialog from "Mandrake Choices" (the default) to "All Software by...." (I usually use "by group", but you can choose from several options). And of course, if you know what you want to install, you can just type the program name (or a partial name) in the Search box to filter the list.

To install any program, check its checkbox, and the program and all dependencies will be downloaded (or pulled off the CDs, which will be requested by Mandrake complete with ejection of your CD tray) and installed. Be warned that large programs with many dependencies will obviously take a long time for you to download if you're on dialup, so keep an eye on the details before clicking the "install" button.

You can also use urpmi <program_name> to install programs from the command line with full dependency resolution (RPMDrake is a GUI front-end for URPMI).

If you are using Mandrake 9.2 or lower, you may also get alarming-looking messages telling you that there was "no public GPG key found", and asking if you want to install anyway; if you are installing from Mandrake mirrors, you can safely install, and get the GPG keys later to stop this message even coming up.

GPG signatures are encryptions on the RPMs to ensure that the file has not been tampered with. The packager signs the final RPM with a private key and with a public key, then makes the public key available to the public (you and me). RPMDrake compares the key on the RPM with the key on your GPG keyring (the little keyring in your system tray when you run the Mandrake Control Center), and gives this error message if the two do not conform (in this case, because you don't have the key on your keyring at all, so RPMDrake has nothing to compare the RPM's key with).

Mandrake's public GPG keys can be found in the /base/ folder of the Mandrake mirror that EasyURPMI gave you as output for Step 3; if you put the url (without the "with" part) into a browser, and go up a level in the FTP site that will be displayed, you will see the /base/ folder. Go into that folder and you will see 3 "pubkey" files; select them and right-click to download them to a safe location. The public key for the PLF repository is right in the folder given in the Easy URPMI output, so you will see it if you type that address into a browser. Download that, too.

Once you have downloaded the keys, open a terminal, su to root (as above) and then use the cd command to browse to the folder that you saved the files to. Then do an ls to display the names of the files in that folder for easy reference for the next step.

Type gpg --import <keyfile_one_name> <keyfile_two_name> <keyfile_three_name> <keyfile_four_name> (that's why we displayed the file list; you should be able to type in the names correctly since you can just look on the terminal screen to see what they are), and hit Enter.

The keys should be added to your keyring, and you should get no more key-related errors when installing software (unless there's really something wrong with the key).

This should save you from "dependency hell", which is chasing individual RPMs over half the world to try to resolve dependencies in the program you're actually trying to install.

Hope this helps.

XavierP 07-12-2004 09:17 AM


Originally posted by Motub
Could someone explain to me why everybody answers a Mandrake's user's questions about installing software without even mentioning urpmi or RPMDrake?
Because he asked abput rpms and tar.gzs. The question was about manually installing and we answered.

However, that said, good how to. :) Have you thought about submitting it, or something similar, to our Linux Tutorial section?

minrich 07-12-2004 09:45 AM

Nice work Motub.

How about adding to the LQwiki?

Hopefully, I can add to it, or preferably with your blessing copy parts of it, when I finally suceed in getting my KonicaMinolta 2300DL color laser internet printer working. I must admit that the foo2zjs driver requires (I believe) that Ghostscript be installed. I dutifully downloaded ghostscript-7.07.tar.gz, untarred into /usr/src and ran ./configure. However I got the following error:

Configure: error: I wasn't able to find a copy of the jpeg library. this is required for compiling ghostscript. Please download a copy of the scource, e.g. from http:/www/, unpack it at the top level of the gs source tree, and rename the directory to 'jpeg'.

Well, I downloaded as suggested but I have no clue where the 'top level of the gs source tree' is - Perhaps you can help?

I am using the 2.6.4 kernel on mandrake 10 bootable DVD from Linux Magazine running on VMware on my Tablet PC.

Thanks in advance for any pointers.


motub 07-12-2004 11:01 AM


Originally posted by XavierP
Because he asked abput rpms and tar.gzs. The question was about manually installing and we answered.
But you see, that's just my point (and why this is a pet peeve of mine; nothing to do with you personally).

A new Linux user migrating from Windows is advised to download and install Mandrake as the easiest to use version for someone such as him/herself. Fine. Mandrake installs, and all these helpful hints and notes pop up, but none of them mention RPMDrake (or provide an intial setup of outside repositories), so unless the user has perhaps read a couple of reviews of Mandrake, or gone exploring in the MCC, the user does not know this tool (much less urpmi) exists.

This is already "not good" (the user should have some indication of what tools they have available, especially when they're as important as urpmi/RPMDrake). S/He reads some general Linux introductory material on his/her own, and s/he discovers that *.rpm exists, and that s/he is supposed to use those type of files to install software because s/he is using an RPM distro. The user still knows nothing about any of the rpm tools that resolve dependencies, but may have heard of dependency hell during the course of this reading.

So the user goes trawling the Internet for the homepages of various software s/he's heard about and wants to install (and which is not on the Mandrake CD's-- such as WINE, for example). Now, me, I'm already p.o.'d on behalf of this user, because s/he is already doing more work than is necessary (and this extra work is more likely to lead to failure than success). So the user finds on the homepage some RPMs and a source tarball. The RPMs are for SuSE, RedHat and "generic" and the source tarball is... a source tarball. None of these seem to be quite "right", but the user wants to install the program and at this moment does not know of any other way to acquire or install software.

So of course s/he asks here about "rpms and tar.gzs". S/he doesn't know what else to ask, and no one has told him/her that s/he's asking the wrong question!

Even on a dedicated Mandrake forum, where (presumably) everyone inclined to answer has some familiarity with URPMI/RPMDrake, no one says a word, and continues to provide the standard instructions of rpm -i and ./configure make makeinstall.

And two days later this user is going to be back complaining of dependency hell (because s/he was not told that if you intend to use rpm you have to find and install all the dependencies yourself beforehand, which is annoying enough in itself), or complaining that s/he can't compile the source (because Mandrake puts its libs or other dependent files in a custom location not referenced by the ./configure or Makefile of the developer of the program, so they are not found, and naturally this user does not have a clue how to fix such a problem. When was the last time you saw a README or INSTALL file in a source tarball that contained specific editing instructions for Mandrake, as opposed to, say Debian?). Assuming they haven't already decided that "Linux is s**t" and gone back to Windows, where "at least you can understand how to install a program".

The whole reason urpmi and RPMDrake exist is to avoid such problems. Mandrake didn't pre-compile thousands of binaries for their distribution and set up repositories all over the world just because they had time on their hands and needed something to do.

But these tools can't help us if we don't use them, and if Mandrake doesn't want to highlight them as they deserve, it seems to me that the job falls on the community. Which sucks, but if it didn't, it wouldn't be a "peeve" to me, would it?

minrich's problems are a perfect example of this; if minrich had installed ghostscript-blah.blah.mdk.rpm from a Mandrake repository (hint, hint, minrich), not only would the jpeg library needed be installed at the same time (if not included in the *.rpm itself), but one could also look in the RPM details in RPMDrake to see where all the files would be installed in the filetree (so if you still needed to know where the source of the g(host)s(cript) filetree was, you'd have a good idea).

I'll look into submitting this to the Tutes section and/or the Wiki (are they separate? I really haven't explored them much, though I did submit once to the HCL). Anything to help resolve this completely unnecessary issue (unneccessary because if Mandrake just put a blasted link to EasyURPMI in that First-Time Wizard or added a fairly small sub-wizard to include it, all users would know about RPMDrake from the git-go, and have external repositories set up already), especially when not using the included Mandrake tools and the available repositories so often gives such bad results.

XavierP 07-12-2004 01:04 PM

Actually, I agree with everything you said (especially the bit about the link to easyurpmi). I regularly use urpmi, I find it as easy, if not easier (less keypresses) to use than apt-get in whatever form. We simply answered the question that was asked - it may have been that the original threadstarter was tired of automatic installs/etc and wanted to dip into "doing it the hard way".

Anyway, the Tutorials are here and here is a how to on submitting one. The tutorials have a different function to the wiki, they are there to provide how tos on subjects which either come up regularly (like this thread) or on things which you have done and feel may be of use - like installing on an odd h/w setup. Have a read through the ones that are there to get a feel. The explanation behind the wiki is here and all contributions are welcome.

Phin666 07-21-2004 12:27 PM

lol, I love reading motub's replies. It's good to know she is also out here spreading the gospel. All hail the Diva of the litestep list and ls-stuff list. (oh yeah, and linux too.)

motub 07-21-2004 02:22 PM

Hi, there.... Paul? (Guessing from the "Ph", and the distro).

In any case, nice to see you here (even if you're somebody else I know)!

And I'm always the "diva"... there's usually no other contenders in the category :D . But it's always nice to have fans ;) .

Anyway, don't want to hijack the thread (even if it's dead, which it seems to be), but I can't PM, so... hello!

pongmaster 07-21-2004 06:29 PM

I'd just like to say thanks to motub for the really helpful info on RPMdrake.

I'm new to Mandrake, knew RPMdrake was there, but didn't know how to configure it to get software from anywhere else but the MDK CD's.

This 'tutorial' has been a real help to me.
Thanks again motub. :D :D :Pengy:

minrich 07-21-2004 07:56 PM

likewise, Dank u wel to Motub.

Your hint worked a dream and I am up and running, and I updated all my programs, after downloading a little script from my mirror of choice. Really cool. So now I am happily downloading sources of the latest and greatest Mysql, Php, and Apache and installing them as instructed in my copy of 'Beginning PHP, Apache, Mysql Web Development' - because unfortunately SUSe Pro 9.0 doesn't put the files in the same places as in the book. Otherwise the code that I can download from the publishers ( won't work. I have learned more this week using Linux than I have using Windows in the last ten years - .conf files are so much more friendly than using regedit.

Phin666 07-21-2004 08:19 PM

Oh yeah...I forgot I have a different name on this forum Holly. It' s Paul. To everyone else, take everything she says to heart, I swear she should be teaching Mandrake usage. I never would have stuck with Linix if not for her advice.

OK, that was my last off topic post. I personally can uderstand the need to understand and everntually learn how to install the .rpm and .tar.gz and .tgz files. I would like to update my wine installation to the July build, but it is not in my repositories nor my disks. I have been patient, a few more months won't kill me. I hope.

motub 07-21-2004 10:09 PM

minrich... graag gedaan (especially if you don't actually speak Dutch, but looked up how to say "Thank you" very politely), and I'm glad you're getting on well with getting your system set up.

That's the thing about binary distros, though-- they are tweaked away from "standard" for whatever reason (UNIX-standard, or RedHat standard, take your pick), and that makes it difficult for new users (who are learning the"standard" from books or how-to's that can't know what SuSE or Mandrake or Fedora Core have changed) to find out what's what. Even Debian isn't "standard", exactly, but it changes so glacially slowly, and there are so many very experienced people using it, that there are plenty of resources to tell you how Debian deviates from whatever "standard" we might be talking about.

But if you really want the most bog-standard distro possible, where you will find things exactly where any general Linux book will tell you that they ought to be... you'd want Slackware. People may say it's "too hard for newbies" (which of course depends on the newbie in question), but after a while trying to figure out where your config files and libraries actually are under a binary distro (as opposed to where the newbie-level books will tell you they are supposed to be), Slack can be such a breath of fresh air that sheer relief will carry you through any rough waters.



Paul, you can do one of 3 things to get the current version of Wine:

1) hop over to EasyURPMI and add the Coooker repositories to your SMM. You probably only need Cooker's "contrib", but get main as well. There's a good chance that Wine for July will be in there... just don't forget to uncheck those repositories in the SMM when you've got Wine. It's one of the relatively few programs in Cooker that is self-contained, so getting it from there won't install/upgrade any dependent libraries that might break your system, but you definitely wouldn't want to risk pulling anything big from Cooker, or using those repositories on a regular basis.

2) Go to the Wine homepage download page (or to the Wine project page on and download and install the Mandrake RPM. Again, it's self-contained, so there should be no problem.

3) If you want to give WineX (now known as Cedega) a try, but don't want to a) buy a subscription, or b) learn to deal with downloading the CVS source and trying to compile it, Mandrake, RedHat and Fedora Core users have a friend at The current "new" version of Cedega is 4.0-- that's the first release with the new name, the new website, and who knows whatever else is new about it; but a lot of games that were working under WineX 3.3.2 (the last with the WineX name, afaik) are no longer working under Cedega, if the Transgaming forums are to be believed. So there's a good reason to stick with WineX 3.3.1, which is the version offered on this site.

And no, it's not illegal... WineX, like Wine offer a free CVS source download that you have to compile... the site owner has just compiled it for you already, so it can be installed as a binary. You even have to agree to the same licenses Transgaming makes you accept before you can get to the download pages there. And he's legit, too-- you can say hi to him (Ivan) on either the Wine-users or Wine-devel mailing lists, as he's a Wine developer, listed as working on one of the projects on Wine's "To-Do" page.

And in fact, I must say, his RPMs were generally the best working version of Wine I used under Mandrake-- and I've used the Wine binaries, the daily builds formerly offered at (which is now down, but perhaps will come back at some point), compiled WineX from scripts offered at (which are also pretty good), and compiled it myself from CVS, so I have a fair range of Wine installs to compare with. Ivan's CVS WineX RPMs are one of the things I actually miss about not being a Mandrake user, so definitely check them out.

You might also want to check out Frank's Corner for tips on installing Wine (as well as his configuration tool), as well as invaluable HOW-TOs for many popular programs. Also, both Ravage's installer site and Loki installers for linux gamers have a lot of Loki installers (Loki was a company that specialized in porting Windows games to Linux; we still mourn the day they went belly-up, but their installer survives to help us even now) for many popular games, some native and some which must be run under Wine(X), but for whatever reason don't install well via whatever means.

Good luck.

gp42 08-11-2004 12:20 PM

repositories for Mandrake 7.0?
Thanks to motub for explaining RPMDrake and repositories. I'm once again tinkering with Mandrake 7.0 which I installed and abandoned about 4 years ago after interminable problems. Are there any repositories for version 7.0? The listing generated at Easy URPMI doesn't work (and the header there warns that the listings for earlier versions are not valid). Is there anyplace I can point RPMDrake toward for version 7.0 and see some software repositories?

Version 7.0 only has RPMDrake, not Mandrake Control Center with the software management GUI and so one. Any general help in working with this version to download & install software would be appreciated, too. My ultimate goal is upgrading KDE.

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