I see all these links explaining packages and .debs... I know that... and there are many kludges to get tar.gz files working (eg: update-alternatives for Java or manually dropping the file in /usr/local/bin (or somewhere else, which I had deduced from hours of searching)). If packages are so smart, how are so few Linux applications available in packages or .debs/rpms?
I'm speaking as a new user; I know experts probably know it better (I think I can download a compilable version of Eclipse?). Like netbeans and chrome are .sh, eclipse is a plain, launchable directory, java requires this update-alternatives business but I don't think it registers itself into Ubuntu/Debian's "programs list" (just registers as a command), etc. (I know these are sometimes available in repositories, but I'm just confused why download pages don't have proper explanations).
Long story short: If a download or compile a tar.gz file, how do I register it to the system?
update-alternatives seems to register it as a command, in Ubuntu, it doesn't show up in the search bar. In Debian, I can manually add a shortcut to the GNOME 2 launcher. But what should I really be doing?
So after playing around a bit more with the new solutions, I can sorta refine my "problem":
How should I manage my manually installed programs? Firefox and Eclipse are my only examples so far (I don't download a lot of stuff). They can both run out the box, which I like. Except, where should I be installing them? I see Eclipse has it's own instructions, but I'd rather do all my "manual packages" the same way.
- After some research, I decided to put these programs into
- From how to install eclipse, I figured to get something to show up in the launcher, I need to put a
~/.local/share/applications/. Does the name of this .desktop file matter?
- Stuff with autotools (I look for a
unix/configurefile) will work out fine. Some research points that I should use
CheckInstallto keep track of all these.
- I should use
update-alternativesto register paths. From this java thread, it looks like I create a link from
/usr/lib/jvm/jdk.... When I install these "standalone" applications like Eclipse or Firefox, should I always link to
/usr/bin/[app]? And if assertion 1 is true, I would be doing stuff like
sudo update-alternatives --install "/usr/bin/[app]" "[app]" "/usr/local/bin/[app]" 1
Are these instructions correct/a good way to manage manual installations? Are there any other steps I should follow? Other suggestions?