Monday, July 25, 2011

Installing softwares in Ubuntu....exploring Ubuntu Universe!!


Ubuntu has almost everything that you need in your everyday work.But it may happen that you need some extra softwares or codecs for your movies or songs.Ubuntu takes care of that too.
Everything in ubuntu is installed as packages....you can think of those packages as exe in 
Windows for the time being(actually only the .deb format sofwares are like the exe in Windows)
You can also uninstall these packages too...just like you remove the softwares in windows.



There are four methods to install softwares on Ubuntu:


1. Using Ubuntu Software Center.
2. Using Synaptic Package Manager.
3. Compiling form source/Using debian packages(.deb files).
4. The Command Line way.


Let's get started.....


First some terminology....


1.APT: Advanced Package Tool, describes the entire system of online repositories and the
            parts that download them and install them.This will be more clear when we deal with
            the command line way.


2.Repositories or software channel:These are like online warehouse of softwares...both 
                                                          official and unofficial.


3.Packages: Apps are stored in packages.They describe how you install,run and uninstall
                    programs.


4.Dependencies: These are other softwares or packages needed to run a particular software.
                            Just like you need Java Runtime Environment(JRE) to run your Java apps.


Now...let's get familiar with the four methods to install softwares:


1.Using Software Center: Installing softwares with Ubuntu Software Center is like child's play.
                                            Just open Ubuntu Software centre. 
                                          Applications -> Ubuntu Software Center.
                                          Search for your app and click install. Nice and Simple..


2.Synaptic Package Manager: This is a powerful tool wich manages apps as well as packages
                                                for your system.This is a bit complicated than the software 
                                                center but when you know what you are doing or you have a 
                                                better understanding of your system this is the thing!!...to
                                                launch it System->Adminstration->Synaptic package manager.
                                                Just search for package,Mark for installation.A dialog box 
                                                pops up if the package has dependencies.Just mark those 
                                                dependencies.Click on apply to start installation.To remove 
                                                packages just search for them and for  uninstallation and click 
                                                apply.


3.Compiling from source/Using debian package:If you don't find the software in ubuntu 
                                       software center, don't worry.Search for your software on Google and 
                                       go to the software's website and download the package as tarball
                                      (.tar.gz package) or .deb package.
              .deb is very easy to install.Just double-click it and install...but tarball is 
               installed somewhat differently. The steps are:
             1.Extract the .tar.gz package to a directory.
             2.Open the terminal and go to that directory in which you extracted
                                              the tarball.
             3. Run the command: ./configure   
                                             This will configure the software for your system.If you get 
                                              errors install the dependencies first.
             4.Now Run the command: make 
                                             This will compile the source and produce executable binaries.
             5.Now Run the command: make install 
                                            This will install the software at proper locations.


4. The command line way: I like this most...it makes you feel like a geek....;).To add 
                       repositories use the 
                      command:sudo apt-add-repository [repository name usuallay like ppa: ....]
                     After adding repository run :sudo ap-get update (This updates package list
                     from all  repositories.)
                     Then run: sudo apt-get install [package name] (This installs the package).
                   You can use sudo apt-get remove [package name] (to remove the package ).






To check where your packages were installed run the command: dpkg -L [name of package]


That's it for this post....


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