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Thread: .TAR file and software download basics

  1. #1
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    .TAR file and software download basics

    Most of my software comes through a package manager, but of course there are packages I want that are registered with the package managers, which may however be available to download as tar.gz. Where do I extract the .tar to? I have a folder in home called "software" becase I'm afraid to mess with folders outside of home. Should I be extracting to usr/bin or a newly created subfolder thereof?

    Or, should I be somehow trying to acquire these software packages via synaptic rather than directly?

    Is software installation in GNU-Linux a little goofy and overcomplicated, or am I totally missing something?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: .TAR file and software download basics

    If the application is available through a software package is usually easier to use. On the other hand you might want to use a newer version which often is available through tar.gz. Most often you would unpack the files in Downloads/Software or any other folder you think is suitable. Then there most often is a readme file or instructions on the homepage where you downloaded on how to install the package. I don't think you would need to extract to /usr/bin or similar except in very rare, strange cases.

  3. #3
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    Re: .TAR file and software download basics

    The first place to look for software is always in the official repositories, accessed through synaptic (or apt-get, software centre, ...) If the software you want isn't available there or is outdated, you can try a PPA. This will add an additional repository, which can be accessed through synaptic etc. The third option is the semi-automatic way, downloading a .deb file, that will be registered in the package management system. Only then try .tar.gz and manual installation. The procedure for this varies.

    Manually installed software I don't put in /usr/bin. It makes things complicated to keep track of and it may confuse the package management. I always put manually installed software either in ~/bin (mostly experimental stuff I wrote myself) or in /usr/local, but that's little more than add-ons/data packages for automatically installed software.

  4. #4
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    Re: .TAR file and software download basics

    Look for software in this order:

    1. In the Ubuntu repositories
    2. In third-party repositories or PPAs (do a search for the program's name and "ppa", for instance, "skype ppa")
    3. A .deb package
    4. A binary installer (with ".sh", ".bin" or ".run" as the file extension, usually)
    5. A .tar.gz package

    In other words, look for a PPA containing the software. There is usually one.
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

  5. #5
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    Re: .TAR file and software download basics

    Quote Originally Posted by nuxweevil View Post
    ...Is software installation in GNU-Linux a little goofy and overcomplicated...
    No!
    Quote Originally Posted by nuxweevil View Post
    ...or am I totally missing something?
    Yes!

    See Installing Software in Ubuntu

    btw. Welcome to Ubuntu forums

  6. #6
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    Re: .TAR file and software download basics

    Tip:

    For software not in the repos and not in some PPA, you are sometimes offered a choice of downloading a .deb file archive or another type (such as .tar.gz or .bin) of file. Choose the .deb file, as it should be installed with a menu entry, any dependencies will be resolved, and it is "visible" to Ubuntu's package managers. (For example, many of the Humble Bundle games have this choice.)

    To install a downloaded .deb, you could use the Software Center or the gdebi package installer (not installed - found in the Ubuntu repos).

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