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4.1.5. Installing a Program - slapt-get

Maybe a little bird has told you that there is a wonderful application called cowsay in Linux, and now you would like to see what this program can do.

If this is the first time you are installing an application on Salix, the first thing you should do is to update the package database on your computer by executing

  sudo slapt-get -u 

Then to search for an application (in this case, "cowsay"), type in

  slapt-get --search cowsay

Notice that you don't need to type sudo just for searching for a package. The output you will get should be similar to this:

  george[~]$ slapt-get --search cowsay
  cowsay-3.03-noarch-1salix15.0 [inst=no]: cowsay (A Configurable Speaking/Thinking Cow)
  xcowsay-1.5.1-x86_64-2salix15.0 [inst=no]: xcowsay (display a cute cow and speech bubble)

To install it, you simply must run:

  sudo slapt-get -i cowsay

If you are not sure what this -i is in the above command, you can check it with slapt-get --help. You will see a lot of lines running up the terminal quickly until the application is installed.

Once it is installed, you might want to test it. First get out of the superuser mode by typing exit. Then type in cowsay. Nothing happens, and, in fact, you will see that you are now in a strange mode that you cannot execute any commands. This is because the application is still running, but as you don't see anything, perhaps it is not running properly. To terminate the process, press Ctrl+c. You will get back the normal input line back on your terminal.

  george[Desktop]$ cowsay

So what was going wrong? Check

  cowsay -h

You will see that you need to type in a [message]. Try again with

  cowsay Hello Salix!

We have merely scratched the surface of the power of the command line here. The best way to learn more is by using it, but remember to use the help tools, and consult online documentation such as that listed in the Salix forum. can be particularly recommended if you wish to gain a comprehensive grounding. Proceed cautiously, but don't be afraid to experiment.

A final tip - it can be difficult to copy longer commands accurately. If you select the text with the mouse, clicking the middle button or wheel will paste it accurately into the command line or wherever you wish. This only works in a terminal running within a GUI.