Install .deb .rpm and tar.gz Linux Terminal Tutorial

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If you're used to use linux operating system, you will know and realize that GNU/Linux software/programs are created in two different formats: source code and specific packages. If you want to see something about source code, you can see our Programming post. And you will learn that programming is rather difficult task to do.

The concept of package is almost the same with the source code, you must process it before using it. It's a problem for us beginner. Something more hated by most people is to find the right package for the Linux distribution you are using now. Look the right distribution for you, and if it's not there, then you should use the source code.

Distribution based on platform

According to me, basically, the two common distribution packages are Debian and Red Hat packages. There are others such as Slackware, but Debian and Red Hat are probably the most common. FreeBSD is in different class :p

Debian style packages end in the extension .deb and Red Hat style packages end in the extension .rpm. In general, if you are running a Debian-based system (like Ubuntu or LinuxMint) you should look for a *.deb package for the application; if you’re running a Red Hat system platform (like Fedora or SUSE), then you should find *.rpm type package to be used.

The words ‘In general’ are emphasized above because some distributions have gone so far off the mainstream track of their flavour that this rule does no apply. For example, Ubuntu is a Debian-based distribution and therefore you should be able to use a *.deb package to install an application. However, Ubuntu has strayed so far from the core Debian stream that there are some *.deb packages that won’t work on Ubuntu. Therefore not only do you want to look for a *.deb package for your Ubuntu but you also want to look specifically for an Ubuntu *.deb package. Attempting to install a standard *.deb package may or may not work.

I am not picking on Ubuntu – this same situation exists for many distros.

You must find the right *.deb or *.rpm apps if you pick it from your package manager.

But, in the terminal window of a Debian-based system(log in as root first), you should type:

apt-get install application_name

In the terminal window of a Red Hat-based system (as root), type:

yum install application_name

If you’re successful, the application will download and install itself and you’re done.

Source Code

Source code is usually displayed in the form of tar archives. The form is called a tarball. The benefits about this form is certainly a smaller size, because it is similar to rar or zip in windows. But the drawback is there is some form of code that you must type depending on your needs. Don't worry. most of linux distributions today can now directly extract this files form via the GUI.

Tarballs are generally archived in one of two ways: BZipped (usually has an extension of, bz2 or .tbz) or GZipped (usually has an extension of either .tar.gz or .tgz)

n general, the following steps are used to install a tarball(login as root first):

For a GZipped tarball: tar –zxvf filename.tar.gz (or filename.tgz)
For a BZipped tarball: tar jzvf (or filename.tbz)
make install
Configure stage is where you ask the system to see if it has all the files needed. Stage makeup is the stage to create a file to be executed, and make install stage is when the completed application is installed onto your system. Once you've done everything, you are able to use the application.

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