Installing software on Fedora

Adding Applications

© Lead Image © lightwise, 123RF.com

© Lead Image © lightwise, 123RF.com

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We provide an introduction to installing and managing RPM packages.

Contrary to what you may have heard, you do not have to compile software yourself on Linux. Although compiling from source code can optimize software for your system, almost all distributions have a much easier way to install software. Fedora is a typical example, offering you a choice between a desktop interface and a command-line process for managing software.

In both cases, you are working with packages – files available online from your distribution that are a collection of software and the scripts needed to install and configure a piece of software for your system. A properly designed package also analyzes dependencies – that is, the other applications and libraries needed to run the software and offers to install them. When you are logged in as root, you can add, remove, or delete software by similar processes.

Fedora uses the RPM package format, whose files are identified by an .rpm extension. RPM packages are not compatible with other package formats, such as the DEB packages used by Ubuntu or Linux Mint, although a utility called alien can sometimes convert other formats.

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