linux rpm

I have opensuse 13.2 installed in a virtual machine on my laptop, and I have opensuse 13.2 installed as a physical computer (dual boot) on my desktop.  same installation .iso.

I have gnome installed in the virtual machine, and KDE on the physical machine.

My problem:

the virtual machine running gnome installs rpm files very nicely ( the spoiled windows way using rpm install)
the physical machine running kde uses and installation program called apper, which does nothing.

can someone explain the process of installing programs in linux as opposed to windows.

is it just a matter of unzipping them and they'll go in the right paths? (what program do i use to unzip?)

i've found a rpm command line utility but don't know how to use it ( or even if it's the right utility to use)

thanks

dave.j
DavidAsked:
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rindiCommented:
You should always use the Package manager to install Software on Linux. On OpenSUSE it would be Zypper (the command line tool), or via Yast, where you have something like Software Center form which you can add additional repositories and then just search for the software you need and install it. You need an internet connection for this to work, and it is what you use either way, as a VM or Physical PC.
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
If you're new to Linux, use YaST.
It's available both from the X system (the graphical interface) and from the shell.

How to start YaST: https://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Starting_YaST

HTH,
Dan
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slubekCommented:
can someone explain the process of installing programs in linux as opposed to windows.
Programs often use functions from libraries installed with another programs. It is called dependencies. If you want to install package, you have also to install all packages it depends on.
In Windows, app installer contains all dependencies. So you can have, for example, many installations of Java, python, etc. in your system.
Installing programs in Windows is very simple, but leads to problems when dependency needs to be upgraded.

In Linux, dependencies are installed from different packages. When you upgrade, for example, python, all packages which use its functions have access to new version. But it is sometimes very difficult because of multiple levels of dependencies.
Sometimes, installation of single package leads to installation of many other packages.
Package managers like rpm help us to resolve all dependencies and install them in one transaction.
Of course, rpm has many options you can use, but beginners rarely use them all. So there are many front-ends (even with Graphical User Interface like Yast) for them.

PS. Yes, you can use unzipping software to unpack .rpm package, but you have to know where to unzip them. Package managers use meta data from package to know what should be exctracted, and where. And (what is sometimes more important) what script has to be run after installation.
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DavidAuthor Commented:
so, how about, for example, virtualbox....

i'd like to install virtualbox

i go to the website(virtualbox.org) and virtualbox 5.0.8 is available
i go to the Yast>software management>packages selection and only 4.x.x is available
( i did end up installing 4.x.x, and it works fine)

but what if i'd like to install 5.0.8 which is the most current version on the website?
how do I go about doing that?

thanks
dave.j
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slubekCommented:
You have to wait for virtualbox package creator to create new package version for OpenSuse.
Or you can create package by yourself, but it's not as simple.
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rindiCommented:
I'd install the older version you get in SUSE's repo's. Eventually you'll get updates to the new version. If you install manually you'll always run into issues when updating etc, and often also with dependencies that aren't compatible.
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