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Thread: Adjusting to Life without Installers

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Western Australia
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    11,480
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Adjusting to Life without Installers

    Quote Originally Posted by RangerK View Post
    Am I correct in drawing a couple conclusions:

    1. Instead of downloading and unpacking tar.bz files, look for a ppa when you want new software. It makes more of the process, including future updates, automatic.
    Correct, a PPA or a third-party repository (basically the same thing) is the best thing to look for.

    2. Making symbolic links in /usr/local/bin is a standard part of installing new software.
    No, that's not standard at all. Usually, the program will elect to be installed into /usr/bin and will add a menu item to the Dash automatically. This does depend on whether the person who has packaged the program actually included the functions for this to happen, but usually they would. Adding a symbolic link to /usr/local/bin is very unusual for a program installed via PPA.
    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.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Lincolnshire, UK
    Beans
    1,461
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Adjusting to Life without Installers

    Quote Originally Posted by RangerK View Post
    Am I correct in drawing a couple conclusions:

    1. Instead of downloading and unpacking tar.bz files, look for a ppa when you want new software. It makes more of the process, including future updates, automatic.

    2. Making symbolic links in /usr/local/bin is a standard part of installing new software.

    If anyone can recommend a simple tutorial that covers these issues, I'd love to go through it.
    Just in case you haven't already discovered that things are different with Linux, I suggest you read this:

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Beans
    228

    Re: Adjusting to Life without Installers

    Quote Originally Posted by RangerK View Post
    Am I correct in drawing a couple conclusions:

    1. Instead of downloading and unpacking tar.bz files, look for a ppa when you want new software. It makes more of the process, including future updates, automatic.

    2. Making symbolic links in /usr/local/bin is a standard part of installing new software.
    First, #2 above -- when you install a *.deb package, you dont' need to worry about making links. My empirical observation is that more often than not, the installation process will put the actual executable in /usr/bin, which is a location that by default, is on the path for all users, so invoking it will always work. In some cases, the installation will place a symbolic link in there for you, but the user doesn't need to worry about it.

    For #1 above, that's is the preferred approach. If you know what you're doing and have preferences, you may occasionally prefer the .tar.gz archive, and go with the manual process (unpack wherever you want, make a symbolic link in /usr/bin/). For instance, I use the eclipse Java development environment. There is a .*deb eclipse package provided by Ubuntu, you can install it right from Synaptic, no need to add a PPA, as it is a standard component of the Ubuntu distribution. But it doesn't get updated as often as the publisher provides new versions, and I trust the publisher on the basis of working with their software for years now, so I prefer downloading a stable release from them, and going with the manual method.

    Bear in mind, the other (great) advantage of sticking with the Synaptic method, is that since it's an approved repository, it greatly reduces the chances of malware infections.
    http://folding.extremeoverclocking.c...avital&t=45104
    "I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots."
    ― Albert Einstein

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