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Linux® for Dummies®, 9th Edition by Richard Blum

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Chapter 16. Adding Software to Linux

In This Chapter

  • Recognizing downloaded software file formats

  • Creating tarballs and archives

  • Compressing files

  • Opening tarballs, archives, and compressed files

  • Installing and removing software packages

 

I will make you shorter by the head.

 
 --Queen Elizabeth I

When you start using a new operating system, one of the most frustrating things is trying to figure out all the goofy file extensions. The Windows world has .exe and .zip. The Macintosh world has .bin and .hqx. What about the Linux world? It certainly has its fair share of bizarre extensions, but really, they make a great deal of sense after you know the programs that make them. In this chapter, you find out all about .tar, .gz, .tar.gz, .tgz, .bz2, .deb, and .rpm files. (Anyone up for a game of Scrabble with alphabet soup?)

After you have the letter jumble all figured out, you'll be happy to find that Linux offers a number of cool tools for working with these crazy files, updating your system, adding new software, and more.

Opening Downloaded Files

The Linux world is full of strange terms and acronyms. For example, if someone comes up to you out of the blue and starts talking about tarballs, you probably get a mental image of sticky, smelly balls of tar, maybe rolled in feathers. Yet a tarball is something you run into regularly in the Linux world, especially when you're looking for software or when you need to save yourself some space. A tarball is a bunch of files (and possibly directories) packaged ...

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