Q: How To
Determine What Packages Are Installed on a System
A: For distributions that use RPM format packages,
use the command:
You need to be logged in as root. You can save the output
to a text file for future reference, a command like:
$ rpm -qa >installed-packages
A: For Debian systems, the equivalent command is:
A: For Slackware and Slackware based distributions,
look in the directory /var/log/packages.
[Steven J. Hathaway]
There is one file that describes the contents of each *.tgz
package installed on your system.
Q: How Do
I Find a Particular Application?
A: Look first in the Linux Software Map. It's at: ftp://metalab.unc.edu/pub/Linux/docs/linux-software-map/,
and on the other FTP sites. A search engine is available on the
World Wide Web at http://www.boutell.com/lsm/.
Also check out the Freshmeat Web site: http://www.freshmeat.net, which is where
many new announcements of free software first appear. Freshmeat
is basically a site index that continuously updates the notices
of new or upgraded software for Linux, and maintains indexes
of the announcements and links to their URL's.
The FTP sites (Where
Are the Linux FTP Archives?) often have ls-lR
or INDEX directory listings which you can search using
grep or a text editor. The directory listings files can
be very large, however, making them unwieldy for quick searches.
Also look at the Linux Project's Map: ftp://ftp.ix.de/pub/ix/Linux/docs/Projects-Map.gz.
There's a search engine for Linux FTP archives at: http://lfw.linuxhq.com.
Searching for "Linux" on the World Wide Web provides
copious references. (Where
Is the Linux Stuff on the World Wide Web?)
If you don't find anything, you could download the sources
to the program yourself and compile them. See (How
Do I Port XXX to Linux?). If it's a large package that
may require some porting, post a message to news:comp.os.linux.development.apps. The
popularity of Linux makes this an extremely unlikely occurrence.
The great majority of software available on other Unix-type systems
has already been ported to Linux.
If you compile a large-ish program, please upload it to one
or more of the FTP sites, and post a message to news:comp.os.linux.announce (submit your
posting to email@example.com.
If you're looking for an application program, the chances
are that someone has already written a free version. The news:comp.sources.wanted
FAQ has instructions for finding the source code.
Software does Linux Support?
A: Linux runs all of the standard open source utilities,
like GCC, (X)Emacs, the X Window System, all the standard Unix
utilities, TCP/IP (including SLIP and PPP), and all of the hundreds
of programs that people have compiled or ported to it.
There is a DOS emulator, called DOSEMU, that lets Linux run
programs written for DOS. The latest stable release is 0.98.3.
The FTP archives are at ftp://ftp.dosemu.org/dosemu. The Web site
The emulator can run DOS itself and some (but not all) DOS
applications. Be sure to look at the README file to
determine which version you should get. Also, see the DOSEMU-HOWTO
(slightly dated at this point it doesn't cover the most recent
version of the program), at ftp://metalab.unc.edu/pub/Linux/docs/HOWTO.
Work has been progressing on WINE, an emulator for Microsoft
Windows binaries. See Can
Linux Run Microsoft Windows Programs?.
Intel Binary Compatibility Standard (iBCS2) emulator code
for SVR4 ELF and SVR3.2 COFF binaries can be included in the
kernel as a compile-time option. There is information at ftp://tsx-11.mit.edu/pub/linux/BETA/ibcs2/README.
For more information see the INFO-SHEET.
Some companies have commercial software available. They often
announce their availability on news:comp.os.linux.announce try searching
the archives. See Are
the News Groups Archived Anywhere?.
Q: Can Linux
Use True Type Fonts?
A: Another True Type font server is xfstt
A: People have reported success with other True Type
font servers. There are links from the xfsft Home Page
to them as well.
A: You can also compile True Type Font support into
your X server directly. Again, refer to the xfsft Home
Page for details.
A: Debian users should consult the TT-Debian-HOWTO.
Can Linux Run Microsoft Windows Programs?
A: If you need to run MS Windows programs, the safest
bet is to dual-boot Windows and Linux. LILO, the Linux boot loader,
can boot one of several operating systems from a menu. Booting
Windows is obviously the most reliable way to run all your Windows
programs. See the LILO documentation for details on dual booting.
Also, LOADLIN.EXE (a DOS program to load a Linux, or
other OS, kernel is one way to make Linux co-exist with DOS.
LOADLIN.EXE is particularly handy when you want to install
Linux on a 3rd or 4th drive on a system (or when you're adding
a SCSI drive to a system with an existing IDE).
In these cases, it is common for LILO's boot loader to be
unable to find or load the kernel on the "other" drive.
So you just create a C:LINUX directory (or whatever),
put LOADLIN.EXE in it with a copy of your kernel, and
LOADLIN.EXE is a VCPI compliant program. Win95 will
want to "shutdown into DOS mode," to run it (as it
would with certain other DOS protected-mode programs).
Earlier versions of LOADLIN.EXE sometimes required
a package called REALBIOS.COM, which required a boot
procedure on an (almost) blank floppy to map the interrupt vectors
(prior to the loading of any software drivers). (Current versions
don't seem to ship with it, and don't seem to need it).
A: WINE (WINE Is Not an Emulator), is a reimplementation
of Windows APIs for Linux and Unix. WINE is a great project with
huge potential, but it is still not ready for general distribution.
The WINE team is still working toward a 1.0 release. However,
it is already capable of running many Windows programs. If you
want to contribute to its development, look for the status reports
in the news:comp.emulators.ms-windows.wine
There is also a FAQ, compiled by P. David Gardner, at ftp://metalab.unc.edu/pub/Linux/docs/faqs/Wine-FAQ/.
A: A proprietary program called VMWare is
also available to let you run Windows under a Linux "host"
operating system. See the company's website at http://www.vmware.com.
A: Another package that will help is Win4Lin, a proprietary
package. Win4Lin also allows you to run many Windows programs
Here is how one user reports on Win4Lin:
||I just finished installing it on
a new installation of Mandrake 8.1 and I have found it to be
very satisfactory. It only cost $49 (received a special offer
after registering at their website for information). I installed
it in just a very few minutes, and it now allows me to run all
of the Windows applications programs I have been used to using
for a long time (Pagemaker, Lview, Paint Shop Pro, Explorer etc.)
in a window on one of my Linux KDE desktop screens ... concurrently
with all of my Linux tools.
Q: How Do I Install
A: On a correctly configured system, installing a GNU
software package requires four steps:
- With the source.tar.gz archive in the /usr/src/
directory, or wherever you maintain your source files, untar
and decompress the package with the command:
tar zxvf package-name.tar.gz
- Run the ./configure script in the untarred source
archive's top-level directory with whatever command line arguments
you need. The options that configure recognizes are usually contained
in a file called INSTALL or README.
- Run make. This will build the source code into an
executable program (or programs) and may take a few minutes or
a few hours, depending on the speed of the computer and the size
of the package.
- Run make install. This will install the compiled binaries,
configuration files, and any libraries in the appropriate directories.
A: The Sun Microsystems Java runtime environments and
developer's kits are at http://java.sun.com
You can also get the source code, which is licensed by Sun
A: Netscape Communicator
comes with its own version of the Java
Runtime Environment, so if you need Java only to view
Web graphics, you may already have the runtime version of the
Java Virtual Machine and libraries that you need installed on
your system. You can download Communicator from http://www.netscape.com.
Q: Where Can I Find
Kermit for Linux?
Q: Is There an
ICQ Program That Runs under Linux?
A: Roughly equivalent functionality is built into GCC.
Use the -Wall option to turn on most of the useful extra
warnings. See the GCC manual for more details (type F1-i
in Emacs and select the entry for GCC).
There is a freely available program called lclint that
does much the same thing as traditional lint. The announcement
and source code are available at ftp://ftp.sds.lcs.mit.edu/pub/lclint; on
the World Wide Web, look at http://lclint.cs.virginia.edu.