Installing software

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This article explains program management, i.e. how you can install software to your Linux system.

How you should start

To avoid trouble, best practice recommends installing software using the distribution's package management system. So, first step for you is to find out your distribution. Then try to install the software by means of your distribution. If that is not possible, you will have to download the software from the internet and build it.

For example, if you want to install firefox, this is how you install it:


   yast2 -i firefox
If you want a list of installable packages (searchable), try
   yast2 sw_single


  yum install firefox

Debian, KUbuntu, Ubuntu:

  apt-get install firefox
If you want a list of installable packages (searchable), try
  sudo synaptic


  emerge firefox
  paludis -i firefox


   urpmi firefox

Arch Linux:

   pacman -S firefox


However Slackware don't have its own Package Manager but you can make use of Slackbuilds scripts to compile and install your software. Download the source package and the Slackbuilds scripts from Slackbuilds. There is a direct link to source tarball to each application.
Unpack the Slackbuilds tarball using
   tar -xf slackbuilds_tarball.tar.gz
   tar -xf recordmydesktop.tar.gz
You will have a directory named recordmydesktop.
Copy the source tarball to the Slackbuild directory
   cp -v recordmydesktop- recordmydesktop/
Change your directory to recordmydesktop
   cd recordmydesktop/
Make the slackbuild script executable if necessary
   chmod +x recordmydesktop.Slackbuild
Run the script using
If the compilation process is completed without errors, the finished package will be created in /tmp directory. Change your directory to /tmp
   cd /tmp
and install the package using installpkg. The finished package will end with .tgz extension
   installpkg recordmydesktop.tgz
PS: You have to log in as root to install package

Keeping up-to-date

Fedora comes with another updating tool known as yum, and this can be invoked via the command line such as,

# yum update

To upgrade your current system,

# yum upgrade

can be invoked.

Suse Linux installations can be updated by calling the yast online updater YOU:

# you

Debian, KUbuntu, Ubuntu can be upgraded by following sequence of commands:

# apt-get update
# apt-get upgrade

Installing manually

If your distribution does not provide the package you want to install, there might be other ways to install it that you should be aware of:

  • DEB - the Debian package format. This is used by Debian and Debian-based distributions, such as Knoppix.
  • klik - a mechanism aiming at installing with one click an application for all distributions including all dependencies.
  • CPAN - an installation mechanism independent of the distribution, but dependent on the programming language; only available for Perl.

Compilation from source

Main article: Compilation from source.

If the above options are not available, you will have to compile your software manually.

Typically, you will

Some packages require to issue to test installation