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 Install Non-RPM Applications

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John O'Riordan


Luckily for us most major programs are available as RPMs. Usually, in fact, RPMs especially packed for SUSE installations. However, what happens when you find that gem of a program that is going to save your life but it only comes as a stand-alone installer? Typically, when you install these files there is no interaction with your Windows Manager and also often you can only run the program from the folder it was installed into.

In this article I will run you through how to fully integrate these programs into your desktop Environment and run them from anywhere.

Note: Often installers will do much or all of this for you but for the sake of this article we will deal with applications that only install into a directory and create no global shortcuts.

Extracting the Archive:

Typically these programs come in 'tar.gz' format. This is a format which allows you to store many files within one file (amongst other things) for easier transfer. To extract tar.gz files you can use your Window Manager as many of these have applications to 'untar' files such as these. Or you can run the following command:

tar -zxvf .tar.gz
In this article we will be using the Peer To Peer Application Azurerus as an example. Download this application from here.

Once you have downloaded the file you may noticed it is not a tar.gz file but another, similar, file called tar.bz2. You can extract the files using your Window Manager or by using the following command.

tar -jxvf Azureus_2.4.0.0_linux.tar.bz2
This will extract the files into a folder called azureus.

Running the Binary:

Once you have extracted these files you can run Azurerus immediately. Simply cd to the azureus folder and type

This will launch the application and you can start sharing files straight away!

However you can only run this application from this folder and a quick search of the Program menu shows that a link does not appear here.

Running the Binary from Anywhere:

First we will have to move the folder to a location where everyone can access it. Copy the whole folder to the opt directory using the following command.

sudo cp -R azureus /opt/.
Now the application is in a place where everybody can access it. Now we need to create a shortcut to the binary file that can be run from anywhere. As all users first look at the bin (for BINary) folder we will create our shortcut there. Then we will ensure everybody can access it.
sudo ln -s /opt/azureus /usr/bin/azureus
sudo chmod 777 /usr/bin/azureus
Now if you run the command
ls -l /usr/bin/azureus
you will see that the shortcut has been created
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root 20 2006-03-16 22:37 /usr/bin/azureus -> /opt/azureus/azureus
Now you should be able to run the command from any folder while logged in as any user!

Adding the Folder to the Programs Menu:

However if you typically use the Window Manager to launch files you will see that the application has not appeared in the Program Menu. To add the Application in KDE follow the steps outlined below

  • Right Click on the Menu Button
  • Choose Menu Editor
  • Expand Internet
  • Expand Data Exchange
  • Right Click Data Exchange and choose New Item
  • In name type 'Azureus'
  • In Description type 'Bittorrent Client'
  • In command click on the folder icon and browse to '/usr/bin/azureus'
  • Above the folder icon is a large grey buttoni with a blank page icon. Click on this
  • In the menu that appears select the Other icons radio button and click Browse
  • Browse to the /opt/azureus folder and select the Azureus.png icon.
  • Select File and Save

All done!

And that's it! In a few easy steps your super cool little known program is now completely integrated with your system.

Since 2003

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