I'm quite new to Linux and especially to PCLinuxOS.
I've made an extensive search, but I've not been able to find a page that shows clearly - with graphic explanations - how to install softwares in PCLinuxOS by command line not included in Synaptic, neither here nor around in the internet: every time rpm is mentioned, it's always about Fedora, Red Hat, Mandriva, never PCLinuxOS!
I know this is not the policy of this distribution, but I've installed Zen Mini in 2 separates hard drives, one installation is only for experiments of this kind, so no problem if something goes wrong.
Can anyone help ?
Installing apps that aren't in the repository is usually not a good idea if you are new to Linux, but if you have a testing setup, do use it.
To install an rpm, open a terminal, su to root, and either use the command
rpm -Uvh /path/to/the/package/you/want/to/install.rpm
rpm -ivh /path/to/the/package/you/want/to/install.rpm
The option "-U" stands for "update", and the option "-i" for "install". "-U" is usually the safer choice; if you don't have installed an earlier version of an app "-U" and "-i" will do the same thing: install the package. If you have installed an earlier version of a package, "-U" will remove the older version before installing the new one. If you want two different versions of the same program, you have to use the option "-i", but the install may well fail.
Both the commands above will fail to finish and give you an error message if the package you are trying to install has a dependency that is missing on your system. Then you first have to locate that dependency an install it.
If the app that you want to install and one of its dependencies are both dependent on each other, you have to install them both with the same command.
That's what great about Synaptic: it will find and install the dependencies almost automatically.
But what if you don't want to install an rpm package. What if you want to install from a tarball instead?
is simply a compressed archive. Depending on how it is compressed it may have extensions like .tar.gz
for gzip-compressed archives, and .tar.bz2
for bzip-compressed archives.
The archive may contain anything. Some, mainly proprietary, applications come as compiled binaries, sometimes accompanied by a script or other program that installs and uninstalls them.
But the typical tarball would contain the source code of a program that you must compile yourself. When you unpack it you will usually find both the code and other necessary files in a directory with more or less the same name as the tarball itself (but naturally without the the tarball's extensions).
In that directory (or in a subdirectory) you may also find an "Info" file or an "INFO" file -- and a "README", "readme" or "Readme" file.
Read them. They'll tell you whether the three-step recipe ./configure, make, make install
is all you need to follow when you compile the application. Sometimes a lot more than three steps may be necessary, sometimes less. The readme file may also list configuration options and dependencies, libraries and other files that you must have installed before you can compile your app.
But let's suppose that the three-step formula is all your
The first step is ./configure
. The dot in the beginning means "this directory": you want to run a version of "configure" that accompanies the source code of the program you want to compile -- so you have to be in the directory containing the right "configure". Often that is the top directory with the same name as your tarball, but it may also be a subdirectory further down in the hierarchy.
The second step is make
. Here you should not
add "./" to the beginning of the command. You want to run /usr/bin/make
and as /usr/bin is in your $PATH variable you can leave out the path. But you have to remain in the directory where you ran "./configure".
For these two steps you can remain your ordinary user. But then comes make install
, and for that you should be root. (Sometimes it may be possible to install a program in your home directory, and then you don't have to be root -- but why would you want to?)
If "./configure" gives up with an error message before finishing you have to look at what happened just before the error and try to find out what went wrong. More often than not the reason will be a missing dependency that you have to find and install before you rerun "./configure". The same goes for "make".