You will probably want to add further software to your Linux system from time to time. The method of installation varies, however, because Linux has multiple standards for “packaged” software. Your distro might do installations on the command line, with one or more GUI tools, or both. The most common package types are:
Debian packages, used by Debian, Ubuntu, and other distros.
We’ll cover the package manager
aptitude for installing software in this
RPM Package Manager files are used by Red Hat, Fedora,
CentOS, and other distros. These are installed by the package
rpm, and on older systems,
Compressed tar files. This kind of file isn’t an installable
“package” but a collection of files created by
tar and compressed with
bzip2 (.bz2), or
compress (.Z). Whereas Debian and RPM
packages can be installed with a single command, compressed tar
files usually require multiple manual steps.
You must learn which package type is used by your Linux system. In general, you cannot (or should not) mix package types like Debian and RPM. Fortunately, modern Linux systems are usually set up with a package manager when initially installed, so all you need to do is use it.
Most new software must be installed by the superuser, so you’ll
need to run the
su command (or
equivalent) before installation. For example:
$ su -l Password:
********# rpm -ivh mypackage.rpm ...etc... ...