Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (4638 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] CD/DVD labeling software OSL10.2
  • From: David SMITH <dave.smith@xxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2007 16:11:34 +0000
  • Message-id: <20070123161134.GR6537@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Tue, Jan 23, 2007 at 10:50:26AM -0500, Chris (ePortel PC Systems) wrote:
> Thank you sir.
> No I haven't installed it I'll check it out thanks.
> I'll check it out. Also Francesco just turned me on to Glabels...and it
> looks like this will also work...but I hate to ask this question
> guys...but I'm a Ultra Newbie and have been having a heck of a time
> install the very common compressed file type .tar and tar.bz2...I can
> decompress them...but can't see to consistly install them...I've been
> reading and follow each step to doing this....but it NEVER seems to work!!!
> How is everybody installed software that comes in this format??

"tar" files are a bit like ".zip" files under Windows - they are a
collection of files brought together into one "ARchive" [1] - except that
there is no file compression performed (so they take up approximately
the same amount of disk space as the sum of all of the original files).

The .bz2 extension means that the tar file has been compressed with the
'bzip2' utility. You might also find .tar.gz files (where the file has
been compressed with 'gzip') and .tgz (which is a shortened form of

To extract all the files, you use one of the following:

tar xvf <filename>.tar
tar xzvf <filename>.tar.gz
tar xzvf <filename>.tgz
tar xjvf <filename>.tar.bz2


tarfiles are not like .rpm files that SuSE uses for packages. RPMs are
specifically designed for a Linux distribution, and often contain
commands to run after the files have been extracted to install the
tool into the correct place.

tarfiles are /just/ collections of files (like .zip files in Windows).
Often you will find that a tool distributed as a tarfile is just the C
source, which you then have to compile. This means that they are easy
for the tool provider to distribute (since they don't have to provide
different RPMs for different distributions), but it's more work for the
user (i.e. you).

I'm afraid you have to use a bit of intelligence and detective work to
determine how to get the tool to work after you've extracted the contents
of the tarfile. Often you will find that the tarfile contains a file
called "INSTALL" or "README"; these might give you some clues.


[1] In case you're wondering, the "T" comes from "Tape". In the olden
days of UNIX, the 'tar' command was mostly used for reading and
writing backup tapes. To some extent, it still is, but most computer
users nowadays will never have seen a tape drive, let alone used
one... :-)

[2] 'man tar' will give you much more information on how to use tar;
possibly more than you're able to digest.

David Smith | Tel: +44 (0)1454 462380 Home: +44 (0)1454 616963
STMicroelectronics | Fax: +44 (0)1454 462305 Mobile: +44 (0)7932 642724
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