Key Concepts - UNIX Administration: Class 2

  • There are three main way you can install software on a UNIX system:
  • If you have a zipped software package that ends in a .gzip, .gz, .zip or .Z extension, you need to use a utility to uncompress the file:
  • A lot of times, you will see a zipped tar file that contains a number of files and directories. These files usually end in the .tar.gz or .tgz extensions You can uncompress and untar this type of file by issuing the "tar -xvfz filename.tgz" command.

  • After unzipping a source or binary software distribution (NOT AN .rpm file), you should be left with a file with a .tar extension. It's now your job to untar the file by issuing the "tar -xvf file.tar", which will untar the files and (most likely) put all of them in a directory named something similar to the software package you are installing (e.g. if you untar "MySoftware.tar", it will usually place all files in a directory called "MySoftware"). You must now install and/or compile the software yourself. The procedure for doing this varies for each piece of software. Each distribution should have an INSTALL or README file that tells you how to install it. Refer to Chapter 4 of "Linux Administration: A Beginner's Guide" for detailed instructions on the procedure I just described.

  • The rpm command is a powerful utility that allows you to install, delete and view existing software packages on your system. Here are some of the most common uses of the rpm command:

  • You can find lots of .rpm software packages at, the .rpm repository.