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Why do I need to use a command prompt in Ubuntu?

Why do I need to use a command prompt in Ubuntu?

I wanted to try out a few Linux applications, so just installed Ubuntu as a VMware virtual machine within Windows.

Asked by: Guest | Views: 46
Total answers/comments: 2
Guest [Entry]

"Simple answer

Because whoever wrote the package you downloaded didn't make such a convenient install script file in the first place.

More complicated answer

Ubuntu is designed around Debian-style (.deb) packages. Finding a convenient point-and-click package installer under Ubuntu for such packages is simple. Your issue is that you're trying to install a package that is not part of the built-in package manager.

The command line is probably the lowest common denominator for linux users. When writing a package, throwing in the extra scripting to ensure that it installs 'properly' on all linux distributions is non-trivial, especially with new forks and distros being developed regularly. A script that runs flawlessly on Ubuntu, for example, would probably crash and burn on Fedora or Slackware. Thus, distro-specific installers are usually left to the distro managers themselves, or volunteers willing to do the grunt work.

.tar.gz package scripts usually do little more than compile the package for you and throw it in an appropriate /bin directory (or wherever). Many can be installed using the common ""./configure && make && make install"" procedure, but not all of them. This would require reading the installation instructions for each package to ensure a proper install. Such human intervention makes automating the process difficult if not impossible.

Note that this installation procedure may or may not do anything else useful for you. You will very possibly end up with no uninstaller, nothing showing up as 'installed' in your package manager of choice, and not even have the appropriate desktop icons/application entries/file associations in your window manager of choice. It all depends on the package itself. Distro-specific packages usually try to account for these omissions.

Until such time as all open source developers can agree on a standard installation process for all software, this is probably the best you're gonna get. Either stick with distro-supported packages, or deal with a command line."
Guest [Entry]

"This isn't necessarily a problem with Ubuntu so much as it is a problem with VMWare choosing not to package its VMWare tools as a Debian/Ubuntu package. RPM is the Redhat/Fedora/CentOS/Mandriva format.

You can install Alien on Ubuntu to install RPM packages, but it's still going to involve the command line."