Linux N00B Rant

  • Arcath
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I came to Ozzu with the intent of asking for help with a problem, but this is likely to be the venting of a linux newbie.

why can't linux support standard installations? Am I just missing something completely obvious?

I have AIX and OpenBSD servers at work. I do basic maintainance on them, (backups, edit .conf files, stop and start services) but I didn't set them up, and wouldn't have a clue where to begin if I had to. I consider myself a unix/linux newbie, but I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about PC's in general. I've even managed to get a few certs in the field, and I've been doing network troubleshooting for years. Linux and Macs are just my weakspots.

I've played around with knoppix-std, redhat, ubuntu, and fedora core 5, but not much more then just getting it up and running and trying the programs that were initially set up.

The problem is that I've never successfully installed anything on linux. My first attempts were on redhat and I tried installing 5 or 6 rpm's and each one ran into a different problem. I tried once with ubuntu (I think it was an .xpi file) and only got part way before getting an error. Installations always ends up with google searches for the error message and eventual frustration.

Today I'm using fedora core and I thought I'd try installing FF2. I downloaded the .gz file, extracted it, and got stumped. Nothing familiar jumped out as what to use to install. I think I have to yum something, but I don't know what. I read the readme file and it points me to the release notes for installation help.

I went to the link specified and saw "These Release Notes cover what's new, download and installation instructions . . ."

Perfect! Just what I need, I click the link and see:

Quote:
-Installing Firefox 2
Please note that installing Firefox 2 will overwrite your existing installation of Firefox. You won't lose any of your bookmarks or browsing history, but some of your extensions and other add-ons might not work until updates for them are made available. Your copy of Firefox 2 will be automatically updated to the final release of Firefox 2 when it becomes available.


Thats it.

I've been in loops on the firefox site for 10 minutes and no matter what I search for I end up back to the same link.

I downloaded FF for my work PC today and I think it took longer to download then it did to install. The file downloaded was the install file. Simple.

There are many brilliant programmers involved with linux and other open source projects so I'm sure if there was a way to make it that simple it would have been done already, so my question is what is it about linux that prevents installing new software as simple as downloading setup.exe?
  • Mas Sehguh
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Installing new software is simpler than downloading setup.exe.

In Ubuntu or Debian, you open up the Synaptic Package Manager, click on the software you want, and click 'Install' (or 'Apply') and poof! It works. Sometimes you have to wait a little for new versions of things, though, and you need to update the package lists, so that they're... updated.

But then again, installing software for the mac is generally easier, except that the interesting things, like ghc, are harder...
  • AnarchY SI
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Post 3+ Months Ago

yea, with macs pretty much you just download the software and "it just works". lol what version of fedora are you running? because FC6 was just released yesterday..
with fedora, open up a terminal and enter: su
enter your root password
enter yum -y install yumex
after it installs, you can run yumex which is the graphical installer for yum. it'll let you browse through the packages you have available visually. also, the setup instructions for yum at http://stanton-finley.net for fedora core 5 work without a hitch for FC6. otherwise if you are using FC5 then you should follow the instructions for getting whatever running you need on the site provided.
  • sloDavid
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Arcath, I have the same problem. I tried installing FF2 by extracting the files to a sibling folder to the existing Firefox folder, but that didn't do anything. When I click the executables, nothing happens. When I browse the list of available packages, FF2 doesn't appear.

I didn't want to extract into the existing FF 1.5 folder. After all, the version number is IN the folder name. It would be kind of stupid to name a folder with a version number that is only intended to become outdated with time.

Sam Hughes mentioned something about updating the package lists. Is that something that admins must do manually? I wonder how that's done...

But yeah, the installation instructions for Linux are stupid. They should just say, "Sorry, we can't tell you. It's different for every Linux distribution. We LIKE to make noobs like you twist in the wind."
  • AnarchY SI
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Post 3+ Months Ago

david, did you try opening a terminal, cd'ing to the directory of FF2 and then running that version of firefox? (which should have a dif. name than just 'firefox' for the executable as thats the name of the one installed by the system).? because if that fails, it will output an error message to the terminal rather than just failing silently.
yes, updating the package lists is something you have to do with root privileges which is nothing more than an su, <password>, yum update . lol but you also have to install packages with root privileges so that should be nothing new.
  • ocean_jet
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am having the exact same problem trying to update to FF2.

I followed all the instruction in this thread. I have Yumex available in Applications/System Tools.

So, I downloaded, and extract the .gz file. I did the yum update using the terminal window.

I open Yumex, and I cannot find anything in there about FF2. I find a package for FF1.5 development files, but nothing about FF2.

Is there something really obvious that we are missing?

(I am even more of a noob that the thread starter as I just installed and used Linux for the first time on Monday night. I was able to install FC6 with no problems at all. But, I have tried to install Flash plug ins and FF2, and nothing seems to work. Sam Huges says installing is easier than downloading setup.exe.... so I assume there is something really obvious that we are missing?)

Thanks for any help.
  • AnarchY SI
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Post 3+ Months Ago

FF2 was just released globally (as a non-beta, but final version). it takes people time to compile the applications and make them available to the masses. so even though installing software is easier than downloading setup.exe, it also takes longer so you can't have brand new right now ready to go. i'm going to have to download FF2 so that i can go through the steps to better help you guys, so i'll repost once thats done.
  • AnarchY SI
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hmm...so in Kubuntu (which also means Ubuntu/Edubuntu/Xubuntu), when you install firefox (as it wasn't on the system by default), it installs v2.0 so i can't exactly test out the installation of said product with this distro. and the only reason i'm booted to this distro is i just installed it and am testing it out.
however, i would not recommend either(/any) of you install it if your graphics are provided by ATi as it sucks at life and (for me at least), i had to boot to the command line and manually edit a config file to get to a graphical login. without them modification and me disabling the splash screen it would just sit there and do nothing until i got frustrated and hit the restart button :] i dont know why the people at ubuntu haven't fixed this problem yet as it's existed since v5.10 and its rather stupid that its still there. thats enough for my rant right now..time for more testing :]

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