View Full Version : Frustration Installing Apps

12th May 2008, 02:11 PM
I would like to see Fedora changes in a future release that enable us non linux experts and non terminal users to install programs like we do in windows!

Point of frustration: I am trying really hard to use Fedora instead of Windows. I found several programs I wanted to install to use with FC8. Xine and Sweethome3d. I found instructions on the forum on how to install Xine. One set of instructions involved keying about 20 lines of code in the terminal window. Another set of intructions required about 4 lines of code. I used the later and it worked great. But why are there so many confusing options?

For Sweethome3d I did a download and now it is on my computer with a bunch of files and libs but now what? The instructions on the website seem to show another way to install it that is different than the Xine instructions. I have a Fedora manual I bought and I spent an hour reading about installing RPMs and Yum Updates and non of it seem to apply to how I would go about installing this download of Sweethome3d.

So I went over to Windows and downloaded the windows version and simply ran the install program and about 30 seconds later I was in the application using it.

This is where linux/Fedora suffers greatly. In windows I can go to any website with a program and to install the program I do the same thing. Simply down load it to my computer and run the setup or install program.

If I'm in FC8 and I find a program on the web I want to use I have to literally pull my hair out to figure out which flavor of installation I have to perform! I installed Xine with about 4 simple instructions in the terminal window but that appears to be very specific to Xine and does not work with Sweethome3d.

I would like to see an application installer in future Fedora releases that would recognize for the user what was downloaded and do the installation. It should be as simple as how Windows works! Then maybe linux would attract more Windows people and in my case I would and could use Sweethome3d in FC8 instead of in windows! I don't see the point of wasting so much time trying to install in FC8 when its a snap in Windows!

12th May 2008, 02:18 PM
First, the place for suggestions of how to improve Fedora shouldn't go here - the devs don't monitor community support forums.

As far as xine, can't you just do

su -
[key in password]
yum install xine

Yes, some apps are harder to install in Linux, but this is partly the "fault"* of the software vendors themselves who don't release installers for Linux platforms. So sometimes we have to compile from source. Once you learn it, it's not as bad as it seems.

*I use "fault" with scare quotes because it's hard to knock software vendors for not going out of their way to make "dummy proof" "double-click-and-hit-next" installers for 3% (or whatever percent of desktop users use Linux) of the software-using community.

Finally, some distros are .deb based, some are .rpm based, and so forth. So the problem may be more because of a lack of standardized installation systems.

12th May 2008, 02:19 PM
Without trying to be blunt, the application installer already exists for Fedora. It's called yum and installs software from repositories that you have configured.

This doesn't mean that the repository has the software you're looking for. There is a packaged up version of Xine available in the repos though (may be talking about the livna repo here - I'm not at my Fedora box to check).

The down side is that the application has to be packaged as an RPM and it has to be suitably built to be included in the various repos you can select. On the upside, application providers can package up software and then provide their own repo to download from. I've been using the SqueezeCentre software for a while now and the repo Logitech provide has worked really well for me.

The short of it is that there ARE installation methods out there, but it takes getting the application providers to package their products as suitable RPM's or .deb's etc. I have heard work of a unified installation system for Linux, but don't track it's progress as I'm more than happy with the Fedora repos (plus a few additions for codecs etc).



12th May 2008, 02:21 PM
The idea is to install these programs (packages) from a repository, not from source. If you've got Livna set up, Xine is a 'pick & click' install. This other package "sweethome3d", I'm not familiar with. Let's see if I can make it work...again, this is 'old school' method of installing "configure, make, make install" http://www.tuxfiles.org/linuxhelp/softinstall.html.

Edit: Ah! This one's a snap! If you download the .targz file to your /home/username and extract there (right click - extract here), you'll have a new folder 'SweetHome3D'. Inside, you'll see a file "SweetHome3D". Double-click and 'run' it. Alternately, you can use a terminal, 'cd' (change directory) to 'SweetHome3D' and then "./SweetHome3d". Enjoy!

12th May 2008, 03:58 PM
Ok....I guess i did not see this just as a suggestion as you took it but more as me whinning about Linux and sort of asking for help and sympathy. I think that the majority of linux users are happy with how to install applications and probably don't see a need to change things. I'm just saying that Fedora/Linux could grab more of the Windows people if things like installing programs were made more user friendly. I like a lot about FC8. I could see myself at some point breaking away from Windows. But this area of installing software has a bit of a painful learning curve and to me it should be a lot easier!

Thanks for you feedback!

12th May 2008, 04:08 PM
Thanks everyone for your quick response with comments, and suggestions!

Bob, I will try out your suggested method as soon as I get out of Windows and back over to FC8! I think I can do/follow what you are telling me. I have the first part done. The files are on my computer and unpacked. I just did not know what to do with them. When I tried to run the Sweethome3d file you pointed out to me by double clicking it, it did not run and FC8 wanted to know what I wanted to open it with. Also tThe instructions on the Sweethome3d website were a little too vague for me. So I will go back over to FC8 and try again! Thanks again for the help!

The software works in Windows. It will be interesting to see how the Linux version works!

12th May 2008, 06:51 PM

When I double click the Sweethome3D file I get this: Was it suppose to install? Did I double click on the right file?

jre1.6.0_06/bin/java -classpath lib/SweetHome3D.jar:lib/Loader3DS1_2.jar:lib/itext-2.0.4.jar:lib/j3dcore.jar:lib/j3dutils.jar:lib/vecmath.jar:jre1.6.0_06/lib/javaws.jar -Djava.library.path=lib -Xmx256m com.eteks.sweethome3d.SweetHome3D

12th May 2008, 07:30 PM
Hmmm...now I'm on Windows at my daughter's house so can't really diagnose it properly. This is a java -based program and I have previously installed the JRE version of Java from the Sun site, so perhaps that's why I can run it so easily. I think it's looking for the Sun Java in it's normal path. I'd set up java as described here: http://optics.csufresno.edu/~kriehn/fedora/fedora_files/f8/howto/java.html and then give it another try.

As to the comparison to Windows, with Linux & Fedora you have multiple options for installing things. You have Yum, Apt, Smart, CNR. While most members would not choose CNR, it approximates the Windows experience the closest, I guess. Keep in mind that to install apps, you first have to FIND them in Windows. That's one of the best features of linux; they're centrally located and have the descriptions right there to check out. No need to poke through multiple web sites. But then again, who's trying to beat Windows anyway? This is not a contest and people should choose the OS that fits their needs, be it one of the two Windows versions or the hundreds of linux versions or the dozens of BSD versions or Mac or Solaris or.... well, anyway that's up to you.

12th May 2008, 07:46 PM
I sympathize with you LenL , i`m 2 days old on Linux. I`m having a hard time trying to install the drivers. Probably i will turn to windows again.

I am currently using Linux , only to see it. It`s a pity it`s so difficult , because otherwise i would have stitched myself to Linux , since it`s rarely encounters any viruses , spyware or crashes.

But that`s the price we simple computer users have to pay with Windows.

12th May 2008, 07:53 PM
Daraus, you may give up on Fedora, but I keep trying and keep fighting and I am learning as I go. If you have the time and a little patience I would suggest keep at it. I think Fedora would attract a lot of Windows Users and become popular if it could just be more User friendly in just a couple of areas. There is a lot to like and a lot to frustrate Windows users!

12th May 2008, 07:57 PM
Bob, I got your second method to work using the terminal window after much learning on how to use the "CD" command to get to (navigate) the right directory with the program! It ran the program but did it install it? Is this how I have to run Sweethome3D every time I want to run it? Or is it actually now an installed program on my Fedora system?

12th May 2008, 08:08 PM
I'm a noobsta just like you and I found out that I must do everything the linux way otherwise I depend on double click this and that and get frustrated and fear the terminal. to name a few friendly ways to install stuff just to name a few.

yum instal yumex
easy life

there are plenty of guides. linked to member's signature. Take your time and read thoroughly. Best of luck on your linux box.

12th May 2008, 08:17 PM
Most programs once installed add a menu entry into the start menu (lower left
corner of the desktop for KDE or along the top for Gnome), there's no need to
run it via command line.

12th May 2008, 08:46 PM
You want to install xine easily? Go over to www.freshrpms.net and read the line that says "The easiest way to install freshrpms.net packages is to CLICK HERE from within firefox, ..."

As for that "sweet home 3d" program, this installation is FAR FAR FAR simpler than ANY winsucks programs that I'm aware of.... just download the "linux installer" and extract it. To run, just CLICK on the file named "SweetHome3D". Wow, complicated.

12th May 2008, 09:36 PM
LenL, your program is installed but you've got it in your /home/username folder, where menu items aren't the 'norm'. There are options to move it to another folder, link it on your desktop, etc. , but for now, simply call it up and see if it's really what you want to keep for good.

Dubb, you've tackled a more advanced distro with Fedora. If you're feeling frustrated and want linux to 'just work', then give Linux Mint or PCLinuxOS a try. Both are excellent distros and much easier to handle than Fedora. Both are completely set up right from the install. I use both myself, however without the 'tweaking', they are too 'ho-hum' for my tastes. One thing; both PCLOS and Mint have the developers actively chatting on their Forums and have good communities, so you'll find help is never far away when you DO have a question.

13th May 2008, 01:01 PM
Thanks Bob! I have it working!

For Serbninski: You may be right. I did it both in Windows and in FC8. Windows I understand so it took all of about 30 seconds. FC8 I don't understand and it took about 3 or 4 posts on this forum, reading about an hours worth of a 1100 page FC manual, trying different things in FC8. All told an investment of a few hours to install a simple program. Perhaps next time it might be faster or as fast as Windows. But it will probably be a slightly different way to install so I will invest more time in learning how to do it! Someday I might come close to being as good as you are installing!

In the meantime many thinks to folks like Bob who have patience to help folks like me!