Installing software in user friendly way

Stephen R Laniel steve at
Tue Jul 12 11:30:09 UTC 2005

On Tue, Jul 12, 2005 at 08:21:43AM -0300, Renato Pedroso Henriques wrote:
> I am used to download an installer of any kind, say the opera browser for
> instance.  Double click on it and that is it. The installer does it. In the
> linux world where things are new to me, all I get is a targzip package with
> everything inside. How do I install anything at all?

Hi Renato,

When you use Ubuntu, you don't need to do anything with a
.tar.gz package. When you use a distribution -- most any
distribution -- the 'package management system' handles
these things for you. You tell it (in its own idiom) "I want
to install Firefox" (for instance) and it handles all the
aspects of that installation.

The package management system in Ubuntu is called APT, and
there are various pleasant frontends to it. I'd recommend
Synaptic. Go up to the System menu in GNOME, then down to
Administration, then down to Synaptic Package Manager.

Hopefully that gets you most of the way to where you want to
go. Play around in Synaptic and see if adding packages is
easy for you. I actually find Linux installation easier than
OS X. For one thing, every time a program is updated, you'll
get the update -- you don't need to go to the program's
website and download a new .dmg file for each one.

Stephen R. Laniel
steve at
+(617) 308-5571
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