Newbie to linux and a question

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Sat Dec 15 21:22:51 UTC 2018

great info thanks.

On 12/15/2018 7:25 AM, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> Okay, I'm not sure how to help a newbie get started, but one thing I
> think worth mentioning given the most recent message:
> Manually downloading, compiling, and installing application software
> on a Linux machine is something even experienced users typically have
> little reason to do on a daily basis. This is because most modern
> distributions come with a built-in package manager that will,
> instructed to install a given piece of software, automate the process
> of downloading a precompiled for that distro package of the
> application, packages for all its dependencies, and installing those
> precompiled packages.
> Sadly, package management is one of those things that differs from
> distro-to-distro, though distros that are closely related often share
> the same package manager(e.g. Debian, Ubuntu, Knoppix, and most other
> distros derived from Debian or one of its derivatives all use apt as
> their package management system and offer a few standard frontends).
> Plus, many "newbie friendly" distros err on  the side of including as
> many different packages in their default installation as can be
> compressed to fit on the install media.
> I'm really only familiar with debian derivatives and the apt package
> manager, but some of the most important commands are:
> sudo apt-get update
> To refresh the package lists.
> sudo apt-get upgrade
> To install all available upgrades for installed packages.
> and
> sudo apt-get install [packagename]
> To install the named package along with all its dependencies.
> Also,
> sudo aptitude
> will laucnh a console frontend for apt called aptitude which provides
> many useful features such as:
> A tiered list of all available packages divided first by install
> status(upgradeable, installed, not installed, obsolete or locally
> installed), section(Admin, editors, libs, net, utilities, among
> several dozen others), and license(differs on distro, but Debian
> itself uses main for free software, contrib for non-free software that
> meets some criteria I'm not entirely sure about, and non-free for all
> other non-free software), and then alphabetically by package name.
> pressing enter on a package name brings up lots of information on that
> package, such as description, maintainer, size, dependencies, and
> available versions.
> many keyboard shortcuts for quickly marking a highlighted package for
> upgrade/installation/removal/etc.
> Built-in serach(useful for finding a package when you don't know its exact name.
> Easy to read preview of pending actions prior to them being applied.
> powerful conflict resolution capabilities.
> And synaptic provides many of the same features in a gui application.
> Oh, and if you really need to download and install something manually
> because it isn't available through apt, Debian and its derivatives use
> .deb packages, which can be installed by running:
> sudo dpkg -i nameofpackage.deb
> And as Debian and its derivatives are among the most widely used
> distros, many devs will include .deb packages on their download pages.
> Note: you're also likely to see .rpm packages, which are packages for
> the Redhat Package Manager, used by Redhat Enterprise Linux, Fedora,
> and their derivatives, and .tar.gz or .tar.bz2, which are compressed
> tarballs, which usually contain a copy of a program's source code.
> .rpm packages can be installed on Debian-derived systems, but this
> requires the use of alien to handle the foreign package format and is
> generally not recommended, and compiling from source generally isn't
> needed unless you're part of active development.
> I hope you find this information useful.

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