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Linux® For Dummies®, 8th Edition by Richard Blum, Dee-Ann LeBlanc

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Opening Downloaded Files

The Linux and UNIX worlds are 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 you need to save yourself some space. A tarball is a bunch of files (and possibly directories) packaged together in a tar file and then compressed by using the gzip utility.

Fortunately, all you need to know is how to double-click a file in order to access the many formats listed in Table 16-1. When you double-click the file, your File Manager shows you what’s inside.

Table 16-1. Potential Formats for Downloaded Files
ExtensionMeaningProgram(s) Involved
.bzOlder form of .bz2.bzip, bunzip
.bz2Slower but more efficient compression for some types of files, like text files.bzip2, bunzip2
.gzTypical compressed file for Linux and UNIX.gzip, gunzip
.isoA CD-ROM or DVD-ROM “image,” which is a single file that contains a CD or DVD’s entire contents. You have to tell your CD or DVD burner software that this file is an image so that it knows not to just place a copy of this file onto the media.See Chapter 18.
.rpmNot a file to “open”; see the “Installing New Software” section, later in this chapter.RPM
.tarA bunch of files bundled together.tar
.tar.bz2A tarball, which in this case is a.tar file inside a .bz2 file. ...

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