Monday, 6 July 2009

Installing Software from a Tarball in Linux

Software installation in Linux is really very easy. Almost all distros come with a package manager like yum for Fedora, apt-get for Ubuntu, Portage for Gentoo etc... It is more easier to use these package managers than to install softwares in Windows. If you know what software you want just tell these package managers and they will find the package, download it, install it and even configure it for you. You don't have to keep on pressing Next button and path to save the file.

However, sometimes many of the software do not fall into the distribution's repos. In this case you have to download such software. These software come as either RPM files or tar balls. Often these software come as a tar ball (.tar, tar.gz,, or .tgz). Wherein you have to compile the source code for your computer and run it, all by yourself. You may find it irritating to do so, but it is easy and quick.

Step 1: Extract the tarball

tar -zxvf mytarball.tar.gz

The options we gave to tar are as follows:

  • -z to tell tar to filter this file (archive) through gzip to decompress (use -j for .bzip files)
  • -x to extract the files (-c to create an archive)
  • -v for “verbose”, so we can see a list of the files it's extracting (Optional)
  • -f to tell tar that we’re working with a file
After this operation you will get a directory with the same name as that of the tarball file. If the tarball filename is mytarball.tat.gz then the directory name will be mytarball. Now go to this directory using the command cd.

Step 2: Configure.

This step checks your system for all dependencies the source code need to make and executable file. So after the first step all you have to do is to issue the following command at the promt:
If all goes well it’ll go through a check of various parts of your system, then drop you back to the prompt again. If anything fails you may get some dependency errors. Which states that you need to install that software first. check for that software in the repo using the package manager.

Step 3: Make.

Here is the step in which you do the actual compilation of the souce code. If the above step completed without any error a Makefile will be created in the directory and then you can issue the following command:
This may take a few minutes depending on size of the software. If everything goes fine you will get the prompt back again with a success message.

Step 4: Install.

In this step the command basically does is to copy the compiled executable file to the required directories so that running this program will be lot easier. This step needs root previlages as it will access those directories which you do not have permission to modify. Hence you need to login as super user by using the command su. It will ask for a root password and once you login successfully you can issue the following command:
make install
At this point of time you are all done to run the installed software.
However many software needs to be compiled in a different way. So it is better recommended that you read both the README file and the INSTALL file.
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Friday, 3 July 2009

Pidgin will not be in Fedora 12

Linux distributionImage via Wikipedia

As I was going through the Features of Fedora 12, I was amazed to see this big change. Pidgin will not be default IM client in Fedora 12. Instead Empathy will be set as the default IM client. This means Pidgin fans have to install Pidgin separately. Same is the case with Ubuntu. Even Ubuntu is replacing Pidgin with Empathy. May be the main reason is that, Pidgin does not support Voice and Video chat. But for upgrades (from Fedora 11 to Fedora 12), Pidgin will remain the default. For new installations, Fedora will be using Empathy.
Source article

A detailed list of differences between Emapthy and Pidgin is available in this link: Pidgin vs Empathy

Pidgin was rocking as an instant messenger on my desktop. Never used Empathy, but have to try out and check the features of it. There is some sense in replacing such a good IM client with Empathy by the greats like Fedora and Ubuntu.

May be the reason behind Pidgin being discarded is that it never tried to support voice chat or video chat. So "Keep updated and survive" should be the motto for them.

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Pidgin/Kopete (Yahoo) problem in Fedora Linux

You might have faced problems logging into yahoo with pidgin. And pidgin throwing this error:
" Could not establish a connection with the server:Error resolving . Name or service not known"
The problem with pidgin connecting to yahoo server is that yahoo is upgrading some of its servers to match up with the new way of authentication. Upgradation of servers is not an issue at all. But the new type of authentication mechanism is making the pidgin not getting connected.

Anyway. Here is the temporary solution.
Change your Yahoo account's Pager Server field (located on the Advanced tab when editing the account) to ''.
Just press 'Ctrl+a' from the pidgin window. Then select an account and press modify. Then press the advanced tab and change the Pager Server field from to
If this url does not work then try using this one
This fix should work for the time being until yahoo makes further changes.

A better way is to update your pidgin to 2.5.8 until pidgin 2.6 arrives.

There is a same issue with KDE based kopete. Doing around with the above url should solve the problem. kopete is now coming up with an updated version.

Original source

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Thursday, 2 July 2009

Fedora 12 Release name as Constantine.

Fedora 11 is already released and planning for Fedora 12 is also going on. To codename Fedora 12 the red hat community gave a list of option to vote for. The options were

* Chilon
* Constantine
* Orville
* Rugosa
* Umbria

Fedora 11 is called "Leonidas" and has a link with the name of Fedora 10 as "Cambridge". Cambridge and Leonidas were both ships of the United States Navy. In the same way "Leonidas" and "Constantine" are townships in the state of Michigan, USA. It is said that the tradition is of creating linked pairs of codenames.

But the official mailing list of Fedora has a different story to tell.
As defined in the election text, the one (1) candidate with the greatest
number of votes will be chosen as the Fedora 12 Release Name.
So the greatest number of votes were put to Constantine and hence the name was chosen. So from now the Release name of Fedora 12 will be "Constantine"

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Install from DVD using YUM installer

YUM is a package installer which uses internet to install packages. So what we do if there is no internet connection? If you do not have internet connection I recommend that you take one and keep yourself updated through YUM.
To install packages through DVD we need to have appropriate Fedora DVD mounted in the system. Once the DVD is mounted you have two options to install the packages from your DVD.

First, using the YUM option called localinstall. Go to the path from your terminal (to know what a terminal is check my other post here) where you have mounted your DVD. This usually should be /media/Fedora 11 i386 DVD. Replace 11 with your version of Fedora. Now go to the directory called Packages.
cd "/media/Fedora 11 i386 DVD/Packages"
Note that you have to use inverted comas. Now from here invoke this command:
yum localinstall RPM_filename.rpm
You can install a particular rpm file if you know or you can just give *.rpm in place of the RPM_filename.
This procedure will try to access the internet for any dependencies. For that the first thing you have to do is to disable the repos. To do this you should know what all repos have been enabled.
yum repolist
This will give you a list of repos with repo id, repo name and status. All you need is the repo id and use this command.
yum --disablerepo=fedora,livna,updates localinstall *.rpm --skip-broken
The --skip-broken option will exclude all packages with depsolving problems. Means those which have dependency problems. This should work with all versions of Fedora. the main drawback of this option is that you should know the particular package name. Or you can use meta-character if you dont know the exact name.

Second, and the most recommended option is by using a repo for DVD. YUM installs packages by checking the repo file. To know what a repo file is you have to check the content of an already existing repo file. Go to the repo directory of YUM.
cd /etc/yum.repos.d/
You will get a list of repo files with the extension .repo. Now use your choice of editor to create a repo file for DVD. I recommend using vi editor.
vi dvd.repo
You can give any name for this file which should end with .repo extension. Now type these line (or better copy paste it).

name=DVD for Fedora- $releasever - $basearch
Do not do any other changes. Now save this file and run the YUM command. If you want your YUM not to check files in the internet you can edit all the repo files and disable them by changing the value of enabled to 0. Or it is better recommend that you use --disablerepo option for the YUM command as explained earlier.

The best thing about using this second way is that you can use all the option related to YUM. Example you can use the groupinstall option which you cannot use it with the first way. Again I stress the point that you use an internet connection to keep yourself updated to the latest changes in the world.

In case you have any problems installing the packages through YUM please revert back. I will try my best to solve it.

Happy YUMming!!! :)

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Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Front Panel Mic Problem in Fedora 11

After Installing Fedora 11, I never tried my front panel microphone. But few days back when I tried to record some voice I found that it was not working. Then I tried it from the back panel, it was working and the voice was recording perfectly.

I tried to figure out what the problem is and I did some working around to fix the problem.
The solution is:

amixer -c0 sset 'Input Source' 'Front Mic'
Simple mixer control 'Input Source',0
Capabilities: cenum
Items: 'Mic' 'Front Mic' 'Line'
Item0: 'Front Mic'

This should work for everyone who is using Fedora 11.
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