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As you become more comfortable with NLD and its various applications and tools, you may find yourself on the lookout for new applications and applets that serve specific purposes (okay, so it might even be a game that you are dying to play).
We have already discussed how you can add RPM software packages to your NLD installation either through channels or by downloading packages from a website. However, there may be occasions when you find a program that you want to install and it is available only in another file archive type, the most common being the compressed tar file: tar.gz.
Installing tar.gz files to your system is a little more difficult than RPMs. The first thing you should do after you download the file is use Nautilus to locate the downloaded package. If you double-click on the package, File Roller opens, and you can view the package contents.
You are looking for an Install or readme text file in the package contents. You can double-click to open the installation or readme file to get information on how you install the package. This is a multistep process because the program must be compiled and then run to install the package. Here is a quick run-through of the process, but the final steps depend on the package you are dealing with.
You can view the files in the tar archive using File Roller.
After you create a new folder to hold the files and open the package in File Roller, you can extract the package to a folder using File Roller. Select all the files in the package and then select Extract. A specific folder may be created for the package files when you extract the files.
After the files are in a folder, you should have read and printed out the install text file included with the package. Now comes the hard part.
Installing tar packages is tricky. In many cases you need a C compiler installed on your system. Use Red Carpet to install the GCC compiler on your system. Also make sure that the following are installed on your system: make and automake. These are both development tools that can be installed using YaST from your installation CDs. You may want to install other development tools as needed.
Open a terminal window. Type su at the command prompt and then enter the root password. You have to be logged in as root in the terminal window to install software. Use the cd (change directory) command to navigate to the folder that holds the files for the package.
Type ./configure at the command prompt and press Enter. This configures the package for your system. Now you can compile the package.
Type make and then press Enter. This compiles the installation for the software. Now you can type make install and press Enter. This installs the software.
You should now be able to run the program from the Run Program window. If the program works, you can add it to a menu or panel.
Don't be upset if this process doesn't work the first time. You may need to do a little research on the software that you are trying to install because some packages require more than just the configure, make, and make install commands (see whether there is a website for the package). In some cases, you may have downloaded a bad archive package.
As a final word related to software installation, it makes sense to use RPMs that have been specifically designed for NLD. When dealing with tarballs, do not install from a tarball unless you are absolutely sure that you need a program that is available only as a tar.gz file (and is not available as an RPM). I would also suggest that you do not install a file that doesn't have a support website or hasn't had a revision for some time. Be sure that you know from where the files you install come, and what impact they will have on your system.
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