View Full Version : Linux issues...

21-11-2001, 04:12 PM

I'm new to linux, and I'm using mandrake 8.0. Any help you can give me on the basics of linux would be much appreciated. I've got as far as surfing the web, clearing email, and using office. I want to know how to install things that aren't on the two install cd's. for example I'd like to install the quake3 demo that was on one of the PCworld cd's. When I opened the file from the cd it brought up a windows asking for the install directory and all that kind of thing. It suggested putting it into a certain directory, but then contradicted itself in saying that I had no write permissions on that directory, nor on the binary directory. Can I fix that by installing it as the root user? the other difficulties I seem to always encounter are when I download some file or other that looks nifty I click on the file I downloaded which usually ends in .tar.gz, and it opens a directory with all the files of that program in it. I then look at the install text file and the readme files and they say things like 'check the makefile, then type 'make install''. Where do I type these instructions, and what is 'check makefile'? Check for what?

Thx in advance, and if there's anything about linux you think I need to know, spit it out, I'm learning here!!!

21-11-2001, 04:58 PM
I assume you're in KDE
on the menu goto applications|file tools and load 'filemanager (superuser mode)'

Then you won't get rights errors when installing software.

21-11-2001, 10:15 PM
You will have to log in as root to install almost everything, its a security thing.

The .tar.gz you got is probably source code which I would avoid until your more familar with linux.
Stick with RPMs until your more familiar with linux (try www.rpmfind.net).

21-11-2001, 10:15 PM

Yes I am using KDE, thx for your reply. When I am loggeed in as root user, it still installs, but when I click 'play' at the end of the installation it doesn load it. Then when I click on the quake exectuable it has created it sits there doing nothing... I find that clicking on any executable I have put into the system myself (as in ones that don't come with the system) don't work. How do I get around this? And where do I type the instructions I mentioned above to 'make install'?


23-11-2001, 04:03 PM
From the problems you seem to be having with libraries, it wonn't hurt you to 'make' some programmes.

'make' is a standard commandline command which uses a file (usually called 'Makefile') to automatically perform everything involved in compiling source files, assembling, linking with libraries, and installing the executable.

To install a package ypui have downloaded as a '.tgz' or '.tar.gz', which has probably arrived in your home directory (maybe /home/erin), you will need to open a terminal window. The prompt will probably end in '$' or '#'. If it is '#', you are logged in as the root user. {linux spit 1]. If not, type 'su', and enter the root password. Type 'pwd'. This will tell you the directory you are in (possibly /root, or /home/erin). [linux spit 2]. Type 'ls -l *.tgz' or 'ls -l *.tar.gz' (or both). This will tell you what files you have whose name end in blah. The '*' is the wild character.[linux spit 3]. If there aren't any, go to the home directory which has one or more of these. ('cd /home/erin' or 'cd') [cd on its own goes to the home dir of the current user: linux spit 3a] and type up_arrow_key (see the repeated commandlines. [linux spit 4]. See if there are any subdirectories which result from unpacking the tgz or gz files: 'ls filename_except_the_.tgz_bit'.
If there are not any, pick a file and type ' tar -xvzf filename.tgz'. This will create a new directory as above. 'cd to_that_new_directory'.
'ls -l | less' will give you a list of the names, and look for anything like README or INSTALL, 'less INSTALL', will go through it, page by page (spacebar, uparrow, 'q' to exit'). If it tells you to 'make install', type that.
[linux spit 5]. Sometimes you have to do './configure', which cleverly decides what hardware, versions of software, etc, and makes a Makefile for you, and you THEN do the make. It's all magic. The installation process should set the execute mode etc. Have a look at the screen to see where it was loaded. (It's likely to be somewhere like /usr/local/bin, but there are variations. You should be able to search for it anyway.

When you have done that, type 'exit' or 'Ctrl-D'. You should not be the superuser when not needed.
Do that again, to close the window.

You should now be able to run the new programme. By navigating to it, and clicking on it. You should not run programmes as root unless they need the privilege.

23-11-2001, 08:16 PM

thx for your long reply. Something seems to be completely missing from the overall equation here. Too often I find that the things you guys tell me to do don't work, like nearly all of them. Are you telling me to type these things into a terminal window? (thats what I'm doing) When I type 'ls-1*.tgz'it says:

bash: ls-1*.tgz: command not found

The same happens with .tar.gz. When I follow the instructions you gave me for 'make'I get the same response. (Yes, I am logged in as superuser, that can be the problem) With 'make' the terminal window spits out 'bash: make: command not found.'

Do I have a whole pile of commands not loaded or something? One thing I did notice that was suspect is that when I start my machine it says:

One 1658mhz AMD Athlon, 383MB RAM.
Then below that it says something like mandrake 8.0 for i586.

Firstly my machine is an athlon 1650mhz, not 1658 (but windows makes that error occassionally too, so I'll let it pass). Secondly, it has 384MB ram, not 383, but again that can be accepted. But the main thing is that it appears that my operating system is designed for 586, and athlons are 686!!! Point me out if I'm barking up the wrong tree here, but it doesn't look right! If that were the case it would explain the troubles I'm having...

My question; is that a problem?