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Installing additional software

This suggestion is written on the assumption that you're running RedHat Fedora or another RPM-based distro. It should work equally well with distros that use other package installers, such as Debian or Ubuntu.

There is one major thing to avoid: never mix component types within a modular application because that will break dependency checking and almost guarantee that the application won't run. For example, if you installed a Perl application using yum to download and install RPM packages, NEVER get a newly updated module from CPAN: wait for the RPM package to appear.

Using a suitable search sequence for finding packages and doing installs can save a lot of time and effort. I recommend using the following order when looking for packages to install. It puts ease of installation and maintenance ahead of everything else and is written on the assumption that you are not modifying or maintaining the package that is to be installed.

  1. Yum install RPM packages from the Fedora main and extras repositories.
  2. Look for packages in additional repositories that can be added to the yum configuration, e.g. or
  3. Check the developer's web sites for applications, such as Opera, that are available in RPM format but can't be directly accessed by yum.
  4. Search RPM libraries that can't be linked to yum, such as

Down to this point virtually everything will install itself in /usr/bin with conf files in /etc

  1. source tarballs and other stuff that needs building. Its good practise to set the configuration to install binaries in /usr/local/bin, manpages in /usr/local/man/* and conf files in /usr/local/etc.
  2. Always put your own scripts and programs in the /usr/local/* filing system. The reason for this is explained in Optimising the Linux upgrade process.