Software installation

Snippet from Wikipedia: Installation (computer programs)

Installation (or setup) of a computer program (including device drivers and plugins), is the act of making the program ready for execution. Installation refers to the particular configuration of a software or hardware with a view to making it usable with the computer. A soft or digital copy of the piece of software (program) is needed to install it. There are different processes of installing a piece of software (program). Because the process varies for each program and each computer, programs (including operating systems) often come with an installer, a specialised program responsible for doing whatever is needed (see below) for the installation. Installation may be part of a larger software deployment process.

Installation typically involves code (program) being copied/generated from the installation files to new files on the local computer for easier access by the operating system, creating necessary directories, registering environment variables, providing separate program for un-installation etc. Because code is generally copied/generated in multiple locations, uninstallation usually involves more than just erasing the program folder. For example, registry files and other system code may need to be modified or deleted for a complete uninstallation.

This article explains program management, i.e. how you can install software to your Linux system.

How you should start

To avoid trouble, best practice recommends installing software using the distribution's package management system. So, first step for you is to find out your distribution. Then try to install the software by means of your distribution. If that is not possible, you will have to download the software from the internet and build it.

For example, if you want to install firefox, this is how you install it:



yast2 -i firefox

:If you want a list of installable packages (searchable), try

yast2 sw_single


Fedora: yum install firefox

Debian, Ubuntu / KUbuntu

Debian, KUbuntu, Ubuntu:

apt-get install firefox

:If you want a list of installable packages (searchable), try

sudo synaptic



emerge firefox

paludis -i firefox



urpmi firefox

Arch Linux

Arch Linux:

pacman -S firefox



:However Slackware don't have its own Package Manager but you can make use of Slackbuilds scripts to compile and install your software. Download the source package and the Slackbuilds scripts from Slackbuilds. There is a direct link to source tarball to each application.

:Unpack the Slackbuilds tarball using

tar -xf slackbuilds_tarball.tar.gz


   tar -xf recordmydesktop.tar.gz

:You will have a directory named recordmydesktop.

:Copy the source tarball to the Slackbuild directory

cp -v recordmydesktop- recordmydesktop/

:Change your directory to recordmydesktop

cd recordmydesktop/

:Make the slackbuild script executable if necessary

chmod +x recordmydesktop.Slackbuild

:Run the script using


:If the compilation process is completed without errors, the finished package will be created in /tmp directory.

Change your directory to /tmp cd /tmp

:and install the package using installpkg. The finished package will end with .tgz extension

   installpkg recordmydesktop.tgz

:PS: You have to log in as root to install package

Keeping up-to-date

Fedora comes with another updating tool known as yum, and this can be invoked via the command line such as,

# yum update
To upgrade your current system,
# yum upgrade
can be invoked.

Suse Linux installations can be updated by calling the yast online updater YOU:

# you

Debian, KUbuntu, Ubuntu can be upgraded by following sequence of commands:

apt-get update

apt-get upgrade

Installing manually

If your distribution does not provide the package you want to install, there might be other ways to install it that you should be aware of:

  • DEB - the Debian package format. This is used by Debian and Debian-based distributions, such as Knoppix.
  • klik - a mechanism aiming at installing with one click an application for all distributions including all dependencies.
  • CPAN - an installation mechanism independent of the distribution, but dependent on the programming language; only available for Perl.

Compilation from source

Main article: Compilation from source.

If the above options are not available, you will have to compile your software manually.

Typically, you will

Some packages require to issue to test installation

Installation Tips Guides

See also

External sites

software_installation.txt · Last modified: 2016/10/10 09:51 by Cloud Monk Losang Jinpa PhD MCSE MCT Microsoft Cloud Ecosystem DevOps Engineer