Much of this software requires root privileges and could contain dangerous code. Be sure you get your code from reliable sources. Considerable effort has been made to provide canonical sources, but no guarantee can be made for the trustworthiness of the code or the sources listed here. Most of these programs are available as FreeBSD ports or Linux packages. I have used them, when available, for testing for this book.
Having said this, I have tried to give some generic directions for installing software. At best, these are meant to augment the existing directions. They may help clarify matters when the included directions are a little too brief. These instructions are not meant as replacements.
Installing software has gotten much easier in the last few years, thanks in part to several developments. First, GNU configure and build tools have had a tremendous impact in erasing the differences created by different operating systems. Second, there have been improvements in file transfer and compression tools as well as increased standardization of the tools used. Finally, several operating systems now include mechanisms to automate the process. If you can use these, your life will be much simpler. I have briefly described three here -- the Solaris package system, the Red Hat package manager, and the FreeBSD port system. Please consult the appropriate documentation for the details for each.
Once you have the appropriate package on your system, you can use one of several closely related commands to manage it. To install a package, use the pkgadd command. Without any arguments, pkgadd will list the packages on your system and give you the opportunity to select the package of interest. Alternately, you can name the package you want to install. You can use the -d option to specify a different directory.
Other commands include the pkgrm command to remove a package, the pkginfo command to display information on which packages are already installed on your system, and pkgchk to check the integrity of the package.
For other software in package format, you might begin by looking at http://sunfreeware.com or searching the Web for Sun's university alliance software repositories. Use the string "sunsite" in your search.
First, download the package in question. Then, to install a package, call rpm with the options -ivh and the name of the package. If all goes well, that is all there is to it. You can use the -e option to remove a package.
A variety of packages come with many Linux distributions. Numerous sites on the Web offer extensive collections of Linux software in RPM format. If you are using Red Hat Linux, try http://www.redhat.com. Many of the repositories will provide you with a list of dependencies, which you'll need to install first.
Software is grouped by category in subdirectories in the /usr/ports directory. You change to the appropriate directory for the program of interest and type make install. At that point, you sit back and watch the magic. The port system will attempt to locate the appropriate file in the /usr/ports/distfiles directory. If the file is not there, it will then try downloading the file from an appropriate site via FTP. Usually the port system knows about several sites so, if it can't reach one, it will try another. Once it has the file, it will calculate and verify a checksum for the file. It next applies appropriate patches and checks dependencies. It will automatically install other ports as needed. Once everything is in place, it will compile the software. Finally, it installs the software and documentation. When it works, which is almost always, it is simply extraordinary. The port collection is an installation option with FreeBSD. Alternately, you can visit http://www.freebsd.org. The process is described in the FreeBSD Handbook.
When evaluating a new piece of software, I have the luxury of testing the software on several different platforms. In general, I find the FreeBSD port system the easiest approach to use. If I have trouble with a FreeBSD port, I'll look for a Linux package next. If that fails, I generally go to a generic source install. In my experience, Solaris packages tend to be hard to find.
|12.2. Task-Specific Troubleshooting||A.2. Generic Sources|
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