Sunday, December 04, 2005

Autopackage; A better Linux installer?

The last time I installed Abiword, it was on my bedside computer, running Ubuntu GNU-Linux. It came as an "Autopackage". I hadn't seen or used one before and must admit I was a bit skeptical. The installation went well, albeit slowly. I used the application launcher to make a menubar icon in Gnome and haven't looked back. Since then, I've used several of these installers and I must say that I like them as well as I like the Debian package management scheme, apt-get.

The only catch is finding the executable to link to when you put menu entries in. The help files have been great in pointing them out, so far. And you can always type in "whereis [package]" to find it.

I have encountered one small problem which needs mentioning. One need not reboot after an autopackage is used to install an application. However, the application is likely to crash on first starting it unless you have logged off and back on. No reboot. Just log off and back on to give the desktop a chance to make the necessary changes, which it will do when it redraws itself upon logging in a user. That is all, and it is NOT a frequently encountered problem, though it does come up.


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