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Thread: So why is installing in Ubuntu always so complicated?

  1. #1
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    Red face So why is installing in Ubuntu always so complicated?

    I know this is a noob question, and I have been using Ubuntu since 6.04, and multiple Linux Dist. But why is things so complicated in Ubuntu and Linux in general. In mac, an application never is actually installed, but usually just ran from the download, and in windows, it is installed just by clicking install. Why in Linux do you have to rely on Terminal to install things? Using the configure, make, and install command. Why can't things be simply get the file (capable with Linux) and click, install? I know about software center, but we all know that not everything is available there. So almost any user will have to compile files, and get dirty in terminal.

  2. #2
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    Re: So why is installing in Ubuntu always so complicated?

    What isn't available in the software center?
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  3. #3
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    Re: So why is installing in Ubuntu always so complicated?

    I've never had to run configure,make and install commands.
    I learned how, but I've never needed to do so in a real situation.

    This isn't 1999 anymore, a lot of packages have been built since then to install easily.
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  4. #4
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    Re: So why is installing in Ubuntu always so complicated?

    I've noticed a lot of sites usually show various sudo commands as shortcuts to install various packages in a terminal because it can be more efficient. However if you are more comfortable using the GUI as an example you can use the Synaptic Package Manager to install packages that way. Good example was in Lubuntu I installed a bunch of x screensavers via the package manager and not Lxterminal and it worked just as well.
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  5. #5
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    Re: So why is installing in Ubuntu always so complicated?

    Indeed. The configure, make, install procedure is only necessary if the packages aren't pre-compiled. Non-pre-compiled programs aren't really any easier to install on Windows or Mac.

    Installing from a repository or PPA is quite easy using a GUI program like Synaptic or Ubuntu Software Center. For that matter, it's not difficult using apt-get in the terminal, though it might seem a bit cryptic at first.
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  6. #6
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    Re: So why is installing in Ubuntu always so complicated?

    Thread moved to Ubuntu, Linux and OS Chat, since it is not a request for support.
    Please, people, remember to BACKUP before you install that new system. Same if you're upgrading.

  7. #7
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    Re: So why is installing in Ubuntu always so complicated?

    I too ask what program are you trying to install that cannot be simply installed via the repos?
    Ubuntu is only as complicated as you want it to be.

  8. #8
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    Re: So why is installing in Ubuntu always so complicated?

    usually they have a PPA. soemtimes they don't that's true and they offer precompiled binaries for windows. i guess it woudl be hard to offer those for linux since every linux distribution is the same. nevertheless there are usually .deb files one can use if there is no PPA. rarely a compile is actualyl needed. maybe with some drivers.
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  9. #9
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    Re: So why is installing in Ubuntu always so complicated?

    I've come across a couple of programs that i use for audio production that had to be compiled or had to download deb packages and then use Software center to install, no ppa's available!
    If at least there was everything available as deb packages then it would be easier for guys who don't want to be troubled with compiling!

    But compiling, is failsafe, thats what i can say and not very difficult to follow, in case the documentation page of the concerned application lists the dependencies well!

    Also, tho' checkinstall is the recommended option, i've found it not always working, i haven't dug deeper into it coz its working with 'make install' & i'd hate to change a winning combination!

    A lot of things are not available in Ubuntu Software Center, but then again, all the basic needs of the enthusiast is mostly available in the Software Center....
    Last edited by su:bhatta; August 16th, 2013 at 08:23 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Re: So why is installing in Ubuntu always so complicated?

    If you can't find the software you need in the repos or in a PPA or in in a deb someplace else, it means the developers have not packaged it for Ubuntu. Rather than doing the configure, make, install dance, you might look into learning how to build your own deb from source. Makes things more convenient down the road.

    The items available in the Software Center are in the Ubuntu repositories. The Center is just a program for listing and accessing them. Any other program -- Synaptic, for example, or apt-get -- that accesses the same repos, will duplicate that functionality. (The list of repos a system uses is maintained for all such programs in the sources.list and other files in /etc.)

    The real advantage of the repository system in combination with these tools is that the software can resolve the dependencies. Linux software applications are seldom packaged as monolithic entities containing every library, etc., needed to get the thing to run. So, the packages in the repositories contain lists of each package's dependencies. Tools like the Center or Synaptic or apt-get are clever enough to know which dependencies are already installed and which it needs to download and install, assuming they're also in the repos.

    That's the major problem these programs solve.

    Windows and OS X package software differently and do not use a dependency resolution tool.

    But, in all 3 operating systems, the actual installation of a package, once the archive is on the target machine, amounts to following an internal script that copies the files to the correct locations. That's what's happens when you click an icon on OS X or Windows, and exactly the same thing happens when you install something in Ubuntu. It's just not as obvious to the user.
    Last edited by buzzingrobot; August 16th, 2013 at 01:33 PM.

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