What Is The Process Of Installing Manually Downloaded *.gz, *.tar.gz, *.tar, And *.deb Program Package Files Into Linux Ubuntu Version 11.04? Please See The Body Below.

Posted on 2012-03-17
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hello. I have a question to you ask you where I am being theoretical and I am trying to learn.

I have the newer redesigned and more systematically and simpler automated version of Linux Ubuntu version 11.04 -- which I am rather new to Ubuntu or as a whole Linux as well. (1) When you HAVE TO install a program *absolutely manually* and your are given a *.gz extension, a *.tar.gz extension, or a *.tar extension for starters you've just downloaded, what are the steps after downloading them to finish installing the program within Ubuntu? I am going beyond the fairly easy auto-installation features of Ubuntu like the Ubuntu Software Centre and the further removed but still fairly automated Synaptic Package Manager. (2) I assume from what I can see that Synaptic Package Manger cannot install files that are manually downloaded outside of Synaptic Package Manger that are *.gz, *.tar.gz or *.tar; am I correct? (3) Please explain? (4) I assume this will involve working with command lines in Ubuntu? (5) Please explain how to perform this task? I am not that knowledgeable here over command line usage, but I am willing to learn. (6) Are there some utilities whether inherent to Ubuntu or would need to be installed first into Ubuntu that can help automate the installation of these compressed file formats than having to know a plethora of a computer language of Linux commands that would be necessary to use? (7) Please explain in detail. This is not for a 'specific' Ubuntu program at the moment, but learning the Ubuntu installation process in a more manually executed or semi-systematic on the installation process when I encounter a downloaded *.gz. *.tar.gz, or *.tar file and what I need to do in order to incorporate the program into Ubuntu. For sake of argument and to serve as an example, I will say the file names are package.gz, package.tar.gz, or package.tar files.

I am also addressing the likes of Debian packages that need to be installed into Ubuntu like *.deb files as well. (8) Again, I assume from what I can see that Synaptic Package Manger cannot install files that are manually downloaded outside of Synaptic Package Manger that are *.deb; am I correct? (9) Please explain? (10) Again, are there any utilities/programs whether inherent to Ubuntu or would need to be installed first into Ubuntu that can help automate the installation of Debian packages too? (11) Please explain in detail. (12) If not, what are the steps I assume would be in Ubuntu line usage as well? Again, for sake of argument and to serve as an example; I will say the file names are package.deb files.

(13) I assume the most Ubuntu manually installed file types found online that one downloads come with the extensions *.gz, *.tar.gz, *.tar and *.deb? (14) If necessary or you have more to add, please explain?  

Please reply. Please answer my questions (1-14 above) and/or please provide me excellent websites with tips either part of the website or you for further clarity.

By having these 14 questions answered above, I will get a very good understanding and knowledge what is necessary in order to install into Ubuntu manually downloaded Ubuntu files.

Thank you very much!
Question by:Bazingeroo
  • 2
LVL 83

Accepted Solution

Dave Baldwin earned 250 total points
ID: 37733489
Synaptic is not an "installer" but a Package Manager.  It works with the "Repositories" where tested software is stored along with the information required to install or uninstall the software.  Probably the most important part of that is checking the 'dependencies' and making sure they are also satisfied.  Most programs on all operating systems requires other more basic programs to run.

I have been able to install '*.deb' packages by double clicking on the icon after downloading because it is a recognized extension for installation packages and Ubuntu has an installer that knows what to do with it.  Fortunately, it is also able to check any dependencies that are included in the package information.

*.gz and *.tar.gz extension are 'gzip' and 'tar' extensions for compressed files and anything can be in those files.  If you double click on them and the unzipper recognizes a package extension like '*.deb', then the installer can install those for you.  If it is some other kind of file in the package, then you may have to figure out what to do with it yourself.  If you're lucky, there will be a Readme in the package.  If there is no Readme or other installation instructions and you can't find instructions on the internet, then maybe you shouldn't install it.  There are too many possibilities and more wrong ways than right.
LVL 34

Assisted Solution

by:Duncan Roe
Duncan Roe earned 250 total points
ID: 37733902
A large number of tar.gz  (source) distributions follow the GNU autoconf pattern. This is essentially a 3-step process where you Configure, Build and Install.
First you need to unpack the source, using tar -xf some_package.tar.gz. Modern tar is smart enough to work out which if any decompressor to use, so the same command works for .tar, .tar.gz, .tgz, .tar.bz2, .tar.xz, .txz and likely more.
The command above creates the directory some_package in whatever was the Current Working Directory when you ran it. After it finishes, you need to cd some_package.

1. Configure your build and install

At a minimum, you need to run ./configure. This will usually default to setting up to install in /usr/local(/bin, /lib, /man &c.). ./configure has lots of options which you can see by entering ./configure --help. Depending on the package, you may wish to include some of them.

2. Build the package

This generally consists of simply running make.

3. Install the package

Usually, simply make install.Each step requires that the previous step succeeded. The most common step to fail is the first, becuase configure checks that you have the necessary tools (e.g. an adequately recent gcc compiler) and that you have all required libraries and of sufficiently recent versions. If any of these checks fail, you just fetch the required items and try ./configure again.
Because configure does so many checks, the other 2 steps usually succeed.

Author Comment

ID: 37745813
@ DaveBaldwin & duncan_roe:

Hello. Nice to see DaveBaldwin again! Nice to meet you duncan_roe.

Thank you for your responses! Well done!

I like both DaveBaldwin's general overview as an answer to my question with a focus on a combination of automatic/manual installation (probably the more common means of installation on Ubuntu today) that I can easily follow... ….and then the more process oriented 'manual' steps with command lines that occur when installing from a technical standpoint that I favor as well by duncan_roe.

It appears that there are DIFFERENT DEGREES of a manual-like installation steps when the program you wish to install on Ubuntu is not found within the fastest, easiest, and quickest 'automatic installation' from the Ubuntu Software Center.

I like both answers equally since they both are essential to comprehend to answer my question. Therefore, both of you are getting 250 points each since BOTH WILL apply to me. I am going to give the Accepted Solution to DaveBaldwin only because his information is 'more common' I would presume. I know Archive Manger in Ubuntu also installs the vast majority of programs into Ubuntu  for files you manually downloaded like *.deb files and *.tar.gz files and does the work for you. However, this was a tough call to give the Accepted Solution to since you both are applicable and popular means to answer to my question/thread.

Again, thank you both!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37745817
Again, thank you!!!

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