Four Ways To Install Software On Linux

New to Linux?  Here’s some information that might be useful.

Linux is different from Windows in how software is installed. In Windows, starting with a CD, DVD, or an executable file, you run an executable file and install the software, usually via a GUI with prompts.


Redhat Desktop

Redhat Desktop


However, in Linux, there are at least 3 or 4 different ways to install software:

rpm packages
yum (related to rpm)
Unzip a file into a directory
Run an executable file or script  




With an rpm, you have a package rpm file, and run the rpm command to install it onto the Linux operating system.

rpm -ivf opera-12.12-1707.x86_64.rpm

warning: opera-12.12-1707.x86_64.rpm: Header V4 DSA/SHA1 Signature, key ID 30c18a2b: NOKEY
Preparing packages for installation…

which opera

See another post involving rpm:
– part of this install used rpm



yum is related to rpm. yum installs a package, via the internet. After connecting to the appropriate server on the web, yum downloads and installs packages onto the Linux operating system.


yum info gdm-plugin-smartcard

yum install gdm-plugin-smartcard

See another post involving yum:
– another part of the same install used yum.


yum can also be configured to do automatic updates to packages, similar to Windows Update.




A lot of software on Linux is simply extracted from a zip file, into a directory. The executable files are usually in a ../bin directory. And, on Linux, usually requires that java is installed, and the environment variables, PATH, JAVA_PATH, JAVA_HOME are configured correctly.




ls -l
total 40064
-rw-r–r–. 1 oracle dba 41024381 Jun 22 00:39 gephi-0.8.2-beta.tar.gz

gunzip gephi-0.8.2-beta.tar.gz -l
total 72304
-rw-r–r–. 1 oracle dba 74039296 Jun 22 00:39 gephi-0.8.2-beta.tar

tar -xvf gephi-0.8.2-beta.tar


See the complete instructions for Gephi here:

Installing Gephi On 64 bit Machines



Executable Files Or Scripts:

Only a fraction of the software that I’ve installed on Linux involved an executable file, similar to Windows. Sometimes, the installer is a GUI, with window prompts, and places to fill in parameters or other information.

NVIDIA drivers on Redhat
Oracle and Oracle Applications

See some of my other posts involving executable files:

Oracle Apps R12 Install on Redhat 64 – The Big Picture
– runs the Oracle Universal Installer

Installing NVidia Drivers on Redhat 6.4 and Removing Nouveau
– runs Linux scripts


What bothers me is my usual complaint: documentation is incorrect, or non-existent. Leaving you to “figure it out yourself”. And it doesn’t seem to matter which method is used.

Hey guys, document your software. Especially the installs. It’s just cut and paste, (or screen shots). Not difficult at all!


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