Installing software on most linux distributions (K/Ubuntu, Mandriva, Fedora Core, OpenSuse etc.) is most times easier than for windows. It is just that we are so accustomed to windows that we expect things should be done in the same manner in linux.
Linux comes with an automatic software finder and installer utility. In (K)Ubuntu, it could be Adept or Synaptic, in Mandriva it is simply named 'Install and Remove Software'. Whatever it is called in your linux distribution, they all function the same way
From Drop Box

Just run the utility, locate where the 'update from repositories' or something similar is and click it (you might be asked to select media sources, choose/tick all). This will through your internet connection download the most recent lists of available softwares for your linux and their descriptions. So you must be connected to the internet, but if you have no access to the internet there is an alternative. After the update is done, you will go through the list of softwares and check/tick the box beside the softwares you want to install, the click on 'Apply' to install them. (If you have a slow internet connection, do not check too many softwares).
If you have no internet connection on the system running the linux, you will have to use another computer system with internet connection to download the software you want to install. Just google out the linux version of the software (e.g type in google search box 'download linux version of Opera 10). Most times you will end up downloading the source code (Opera10.tar.gz) or an executable bin file (Opera10.bin). You might also be a able to see a version that is specific for your linux distribution (e.g. .deb for K/Ubuntu or .rpm for Fedora/OpenSuse/Mandriva). You can install this by just double clicking on the file.
For the Opera10.tar.gz -
1. Copy it into a folder in your target system maybe the /home/download folder or any other of your choice.
2. Right click on the file and choose extract here (an Opera folder will be created in the /home/download folder.
3. Enter the new folder and copy the address location (maybe /home/download/Opera10).
4. Goto the Terminal or Konsole bash commandline.
From Drop Box

5. Change to the folder directory by typing cd and pressing Shift + Insert (to paste the already copied location) then Enter.
6. Type sudo ./configure
sudo make install

From Drop Box

These will compile and install the software.
For Opera10.bin -
1. Copy the Opera10.bin to say /home/download.
Goto the Terminal or Konsole bash commandline and change to the directory by typing cd /home/download
2. Type sudo chmod a+x Opera10.bin to make the bin file executable
From Drop Box

3. Type ./Opera10.bin to install the software.
For further clarifications or any questions, feel free to enter them as a comment.



1. MICROSOFT WORD - writer is a perfect alternative, it oftens come pre-installed on the Linux OS. I use it both on my Windows OS and Linux, there is both the linux and windows executable. I even used it for my technical reports in the University, it can read and write Microsoft word file format (.doc) but can only read word 2007 format (.docx).
2. MICROSOFT VISIO - Dia can to some extent be an alternative to visio, just that you might have to save/export the page as an image for you to insert/import into another application like the writer, Kwrite etc.
3. MICROSOFT WORDPAD - Kwrite is a very good alternative and it comes pre-installed on most kde linux version.
4. MICROSOFT NOTEPAD - Gedit, Kedit and Kate are better alternatives to notepad, they allow you to save as a any file format you desire without putting a " " quote. This makes them easily used as a programmer's notepad.
5. INTERNET EXPLORER - There is Opera, Firefox and Konqueror which work just as well or even better that the latest Internet Explorer.
6. WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER - VLC player is a very perfect and better alternative and can play nearly all known popular music and video format. There is also Amarok and Kaffeine.
7. ADOBE ACROBAT READER - There is Okular, Xpdf and linux version of acrobat reader.
8. NERO BURNER - There is k3b and brasero on linux and in my opinion, k3b has been the most reliable burner I have ever used, especially for burning images.
9. HYPERTERMINAL - CuteCom and Minicom works just as well.

The safest and most beneficial way to install Linux


You would probably have heard that installing linux as an apllication in windows or on a virtual system is the safest (no doubt about that), but if you really want to enjoy the linux operating software you will need to install it on another partition or disk and have it run as a real operating system.

In this post I will teach you how to do this without endangering your windows partition and operating system in anyway. I must let you know that I have done this a couple of times with Kubuntu 8.04 , Ubuntu 8.04, Mandriva 2009 and Kubuntu 9.04, but I am very sure it will work same way for Fedora core 10 and later, OpenSuse 11 and later.

For Vista: If you do not have a partition you will like to install the linux in yet, you can shrink an already existing partition by right clicking on Computer, choose Manage, choose disk and volume management and right click on the partition you want to shrink, choose shrink, and indicate the size of the new partition you want. Now do not format the unallocated space, it is better to leave it this way. And if you already have a formatted partition that you want to use, do not bother doing.
For XP: I really do not know a safe way to create a new partition from an already existing one, so I will assume you already have a partition ready for the linux installation (I was told that Norton Partion magic works hassle free but I have no first-hand experience with it). A great workaround this is to let the linux resize the windows partition and use some of the free space, I have done this using Mandriva 2009 before and it worked hassle free. Just make sure you shutdown the Windows OS properly.

Insert the linux bootable CD/DVD into the DVD drive (I will advice you to use live CD/DVD, it is more user friendly and very straight forward), then restart your computer, make sure it boots from the CD/DVD drive, choose 'Start the Linux OS without making any change to your system', though the exact text might differ from that, it always mean boot from the cd/dvd without installing the linux operating system on your computer, it will only use your RAM without touching your hard disk.

After the linux has finished starting up, click Install on the Desktop (you can explore the Linux OS before doing this). Answer the general step by step questions it asks you, but when it gets to the installation proper, choose the 'free space' ( if you have created an unallocated space in the step 1) or the free partition you prepared for the Linux. Enter ' / ' for the mount point ( where your root/default admin folder will be located), choose the ext3 filesystem and format. Complete the installation, if you see grub bootloader configuration, accept the default (except the time delay before it will automatically boot into linux, this is usually 10 seconds, change it to 30 preferably). The computer will automatically restart, remove the linux bootable and let the computer boot from hard disk. Do not be scared to see that there are three linux options and one windows option, the grub bootloader that came with the new release of linux automatically detects the windows, shows a normal mode linux, a safe mode linux and memory test linux boot mode. If you want to boot into Windows select Windows and press Enter.

Voila! You now have linux installed on your computer. If in anyway confused, reply through the comment.

Linux can access your windows partition but windows cannot access linux partition, this is very useful in case you have problem with your Windows, you can still access and copy your documents in the windows partition
Linux is resistant to most viruses (in fact I do not know of any virus that affect linux, so I prefer browsing and collecting data from external storage devices via my linux OS)
Linux oftentimes recognize and interact with most external devices like USB flash drive, bluetooth, serial devices etc without any addition drivers installation.
If you have a Sony laptop, I will recommend Mandriva 2009 or Kubuntu 9.04 as it has the drivers for your wireless and screen brightness control (I had to install the drivers for my wireless from a source code on my Sony running Kubuntu 8.04, OpenSuse 11 also has the same problem).
If you use HP or Dell (especially Dell, HP can still use mandriva with its wireless detected and screen brightness control), I will recommend (K)Ubuntu 8.04 or later.
Never install linux before windows because windows bootloader cannot detect linux. But if you have no choice you can reinstall the grub bootloader.

If you want any further clarification, you can ask via the comment.

How to manually unlock the urpmi


I got this solution from a forum and it worked.
All you need do is to just save this as a script and call it in the bash terminal

echo "";
echo "Only root can unlock the URPMI database.";
echo "Starting with the removal of URPMI locks:";

rm -f "/var/lib/urpmi/.LOCK";
echo " rm -f '/var/lib/urpmi/.LOCK'...";
rm -f "/var/lib/urpmi/.RPMLOCK";
echo " rm -f '/var/lib/urpmi/.RPMLOCK'..."

echo "Happy installing!"
echo ""

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