A question that comes back frequently: how do I install sofware in Mandriva? True, I should have started with the question a long time ago! How do you want to get anything done if you can't install anything! Just a little warning: if you have been a Mandriva user for a while, you will not learn anything new here. This tutorial is designed for the beginners among us.
- Step 1: Sources, rpm, and urpmi
- Step 2: What do you need?
- Step 3: Configure your sources
- Step 4: Install software!
- Step 5: For more information
Mandriva's preferred method of software delivery is in the form of RPM packages. These are archives formatted using the RedHat Package Manager and installation of software is generally worry free as the files (if you are using Mandrake packages) will end up in the correct place with the correct permissions, AND will have proper menu entries created.
There are many other ways of installing software, but if you are a beginner, you should stick to RPM files, unless you are installing a commercial package that is specifically designed for Mandrake.
Installing RPM files can be a little bit hard as well as you can run into what Linux experts call the "dependency hell". But don't worry, Mandriva sorted this one out a long time ago, and this is where URMI comes in.
To make a long story short, URPMI is the Mandriva tool to install pre-compiled software. It will take care of updating or installing software on you system while preserving it's integrity.
A question you will need to answer is, what are your needs? First, do you have the Mandriva CD's and if so, can use them easily? Second, do you have a fast internet connection? Third, are you a member of the Mandriva Club?
For the Mandriva installer to work properly, you'll need to tell it where to get the software from. There are many possibilities:
- The install CD's
- An internet source "Main",
- An internet source "Contrib",
- An internet source "plf-free",
- An internet source "plf-nonfree".
- Mandriva club commercial packages.
The source "Main" contains all sotwares and utilities part the main distribution. The source "Contrib" has sotwares that are not directly supported by Mandriva but are contributed by volonteers. The Mandriva Club commercial packages include commercial softwares such as Adobe Acrobat Reader or Realplayer.
The install CD's should contain all sotware and utilies from the source "Main", "Contrib", and the Mandriva Club commercial packages.
Finally, the source plf-free" and "plf-nonfree" provide software that can not be part of the Mandriva distribution because of copyright laws in various countries, mainly in the US. For instance, Mandriva is not allowed to distribute sofware to watch DVD's to its american users: they have to get these from the "plf" sources.
Now as a user, you will want to define several combinations of sources. You have mainly two choices:
- If you have the install CD's and a slow internet connection, you want to use the CD's and the sources "plf-free", and "plf-nonfree".
- If you do not have the install CD's or have a fast internet connection, you want to use the sources "Main", "Contrib", "plf-free", and "plf-nonfree".
Hmmm funny, how do I get those sources? Well, if you start the
Mandriva Control Center, and go into the
Software management tab, you should see an icon for
Media Manager (Figure 1). Simply click this icon and you'll have the list of media, or sources, that your installation of Mandriva knows about. From this window, you can easily activate or desactivate them.
Now, how do you find and add new sources? Well, you go to this website: Easy URPMI, choose your distribution and the media you want. At the end of the webpage, it will show you a line of command to enter. Open a terminal, or Konsole (Figure 2), log-in as root (type
su), copy and paste the lines you found at Easy URPMI, hit
enter and you should be all set!
Now that you have your sources properly configured, installing sotware should be easy. Just go back to the
Software management tab in the
Mandriva Control Center (Figure 1). You should see an icon for
Install. Open this function, enter a few letters that are part of the name of the package you're looking for and hit enter. It should come up. Select it, agree to all suggestions for dependencies, and hit
Install. That's it! You Mandriva system will go wherever it needs to find what you are looking for, install it, configure it, and update your menus!
- Easy URPMI
- Download section at Mandriva Club
- Mandrakelinux Rpmdrake and URPMI HOWTO
- Ozzzy's Mandrake Site