[Scottish] Hopeless newbie part 2

Russell Cassidy russ at braii.org
Tue Sep 20 18:55:33 BST 2005



> - Conceptual #1.  I'm struggling to figure out where Suse/Linux puts 
> things.  On XP, on the whole, programs are installed (by default) in 
> c:\Program Files, dlls etc in C:\Windows and subdirs, user data in 
> C:\Documents and settings\User\ and sub dirs.  Is there a direct Linux 
> equivalent?  And I'm beginning to think that Suse ain't the same as 
> Redhat?  Can you give me a HoNe Rule Of Thumb for where to find stuff?

Linux type operating systems tend to have the following layout (but YMMV).

/usr - operating system and program files.
/etc - system and program configuration files
/home - personal account data (Documents and settings if you like)
/tmp - temporary files and data
/var - server data files such as mail spools and web content etc
/mnt - mounted file systems (such as cdroms etc)

This isn't exhaustive and is really just a guide - don't take me for 
gospel :)

Suse is a different distribution to RedHat - the main differences 
between distrubutions are really found in the style of package 
management. RPM files are RedHats way of  managing dependencies (program 
x needies libraries z,y and foo to run). I don't use Suse so I cannot 
say for sure what they use, but I don't think its RPM based.

> - Conceptual #2.  Being a big Firefox fan I downloaded the RPM from 
> mozilla.org to my desktop (as root) and ran it.  It seems to have 
> installed in a directory under the desktop, which, I suspect, isn't 
> correct.  Where should I have put it so that all users can run it?

Its probably extracted the contents of the RPM instead of actually
installing it - you should probably install a SuSE specific package if
at all available. If not, try going for the regular (non rpm) installer 
that they have available.

> HoNe Q1: How do I uninstall apps?

You can usually do this using the package management tools provided by
the distribution. I'm not a Suse user so I couldn't give you anything
specific but I'm sure any of the Suse users on the list could point you
in the right direction.

> HoNe Q2: I've got this Suse 9.3 from the Linux mag.  Can I 'install' 
> that over what I've got?  Will I lose anything (eg YaST online update or 
> similar?  I'm hazy as to what I get for paying fifty quid for the boxed 
> version of 9.1 vs the free versions)

Most distros offer an upgrade path between minor versions - upgrading
major versions (ie. 9.1 ->10.0 ) can cause problems but you're usually 
ok within minor revisions. However, your milage may vary.

Buying a boxed set of a distribution doesn't normally mean that the 
basic software is any different (depending on the boxset, extra packages 
may be thrown in though) - you are usually paying for either an x day 
support contract where you can get support over the phone/by email, or 
decent manuals describing setup procedures etc etc. Your boxset should 
have some info about what sort of support you get and for how long, if any.

Hope this has been of some help, back to lurking now.



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