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  #1  
Old April 22nd, 2004, 06:18 AM
Aro Aro is offline
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Basic Newbie questions about Linux

First of all, does Redhat, or Mandrake, or one of the other distrobutions have a really easy graphical way of installing programs? Like in windows: You double click an install file, and it does the work for you.

But my main question is, "can anyone teach me how to install and uninstall things in Linux?" When I load it up, I can use it without much difficulty, the kde xwindows interfaces are quite simple, really. But let's say if I wanted to do something like download, install, and configure a program like Wine, for example.

I understand tar.gz files are like .zip files and need to be uncompressed. But I don't know enough about unix to know how it installs files and what happens to them. Is it like windows xp at all where you need to unregister installed programs before outright deleting them?

How would I perform a function such as installing wine, then uninstalling it completely? In windows I might check add/remove programs, and if it wasn't on the list, I would check for an uninstaller left by the program, and if that wasn't there, I would just delete the files and directories. Is there a global list of installed Linux programs? (What are they called? Packages?) Do I have to look at it through a command line?

(Don't get me wrong, i love command lines. I love DOS for example, but ugh, learning something like dos again, ugghh ;-p)

Also, how different is the installing process with the different distrobutions of linux? Redhat? Mandrake? Suse? Debian? PcLindows? Knoppix? What other major graphical distrobutions of linux are there? I've played around on some versions of Linux, but as far as actual performance, I have no idea how much of a difference each one is.

I mean, in the windows world, if I was running a machine with 128 megs of ram, I would probably install windows server 2000. But if I had 256, I might try windows xp. If my processor was under 400mhz, I might go for 98.

Speed wise, is there a distrobution of linux that would run extremely fast on a 1ghz pentium? what about a p166?

Can some distrobutions of linux not run all linux software?

Thanks to anyone who read this, and domo arigato to anyone who responds!

Last edited by Aro; April 22nd, 2004 at 06:22 AM.
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  #2  
Old April 22nd, 2004, 08:15 AM
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Jaytee Jaytee is offline
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Is Dom Aragato a good Thing?????

From one newbie to another. I just installed mandrake 9.2 Three C/Ds
I needed to answer around seven questions (What part of the world etc)
It installed straight in and is easy to drive. the command line is not needed for normal navigation. The internet was easy to set up. I was told that the red hat install is even easier as it has no set up questions I don't know the answer to your other Questions , sorry.
166 is a bit slow for a gui system.
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  #3  
Old April 22nd, 2004, 04:32 PM
Aro Aro is offline
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Domo Arigato means thank you very much in Japanese.
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  #4  
Old April 22nd, 2004, 04:40 PM
bg703 bg703 is offline
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Hello Aro, and welcome to Linux. To answear your question about installation and removal of software in Linux, there are, for the most part, three types of install files for Mandrake or Redhat distros. These are RPM, binary and source packages.

By far the easiest to deal with from an installation standpoint are the RPM packages. KDE has the kpackagemanager which will allow you to install the package while checking for dependancies and other program requirements. If for some reason this is not available, Ximian has a free download of a similar package manager called Red Carpet. The second most user friendly type is the binary package. This one only requires that you start the installation from the command line. Software such as Star Office and OPen Office have an installer built in so that there is a graphical installation screen. The command would be something like <root@localhost>#./staroffice. The most difficult of the installation types is the source install. With this type you need to configure the program for your distro, make the file (compile it), and then install it, all as root. Using Star Office as an example, you would first need to be in the directory where the packege is located, then issue the following commands:
./configure
make
make install

To uninstall, the easiest is, again, the RPM. You can use the package manager to do this. The second, believe it or not, is usually the source package as you simply delete the installed files (use caution here, however, as like deleting the wrong .dll file in windows, if you remove the wrong library file you may have problems). Binary installs sucha as Star Office, quite often have an uninstall script, but to my experience far to many binaries do not.

For the first little while, I would stick to RPMs. This is not to say that you should not experiment with the other types. You can't learn unless you try.
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  #5  
Old April 22nd, 2004, 04:57 PM
Aro Aro is offline
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Hi BG703, thanks for the reply!

Can you only use RPMS in Redhat? How about Mandrake? Could I install this Red Carpet program into another distro of linux, then use RPMS with it?

Also, I might have heard something once that compiling source and installing things that way is the most efficient (albeit slowest and most involved) way to install programs in linux. Is this true?

Hmm...=P
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  #6  
Old April 22nd, 2004, 08:44 PM
bg703 bg703 is offline
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Hi Aro

The answear is yes and ,well, maybe.

Yes, you can use RPMs in both Mandrake and Redhat. Be advised, however, that an RPM created for Redhat is usually for Redhat only and vise versa for Mandrake. I say usually, because they will sometimes work in both. As far as Red Carpet is concerned, I believe there are downloads in both Redhat and Mandrake RPM format. It has been a while, but I believe that the easiest install for it is from the shell prompt as root (rpm -Uvh redcarpet.whatever.rpm)

As to the source installs, I say maybe because it depends on how much forebearance you have. Whether or not the install is successful can depend on your version of gcc g++ headers etc. The installation can fail for any number of reasons, but when you accomplish your first successful install from a source tarball, you will feel like Hercules. As far as it being superior to the other types of install files, I haven't noticed that the software installed in this manner is any better or any worse than that installed from an RPM or binary. Don't forget, when installing anything, make sure that you are root.
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