On a Windows or Mac machine, you would typically go to a Web site and download a setup file to install new software. In some cases you can do something similar to that in Linux. But, at least for now, forget all of that.
Yellow Dog is an RPM (Red Hat Package Manager) based Linux distribution. An RPM file is a pre-compiled software package. Since there are numerous versions of many different distributions of Linux which run on many different CPU architectures (x86, AMD64, PPC), there will likely be many different RPM files for a single application.
You can get RPM packages from repositories ("repos") that include software packaged for your particular distribution (Yellow Dog), version (6), and system architecture (ppc). Yellow Dog comes configured with three repositories -- yellowdog-base, yellowdog-extras, and yellowdog-updates. With just these default repos you can install an incredible number of applications.
You do this by selecting the menu item: Applications -> System Tools -> Add/Remove Software
Once the Package Manager is loaded you can Search, Browse, or List the available applications. If you see something you want to install, you simply check the box next to it and click Apply (or the menu item File -> Apply). Then it will show what package(s) you selected and give you the option to Cancel or Continue. Don't go crazy with it -- try installing just one thing at a time at first!
Next it will start resolving dependencies. This means the package you selected may require another package in order for it to work, so the Package Manager tries to take care of that for you. If any dependencies (other packages) were added, it will notify you and give you the option to Cancel or Continue.
Once you click Continue it starts downloading packages and installs everything. Finally you get a window saying "Software Installation successfully completed." Once you click OK, the Package Manager window closes.
If the application has a graphical user interface it should now show up in your menu in an appropriate location (Games, Internet, etc).
If you installed a terminal based application with no graphical user interface (GUI), there won't be a new menu option for it. You may not even know what terminal command is used to start it. It is usually the same as the name of the package, and installed in the folder: /usr/bin Documentation is typically installed in the folder /usr/share/doc/[application-version] folder.
For example, the executable file for the gedit text editor that comes installed on Yellow Dog 6 is located here: /usr/bin/gedit
And the documentation is here: /usr/share/doc/gedit-2
Set up Additional Repositories:
This can now be done with an rpm package -- just click here. You still need to install yum-protectbase for updates to work properly.
In addition to the default repos, you can set up other compatible repos that provide even more applications. To do this, we add certain text files to a folder called /etc/yum.repos.d
You need to have "root privileges" to add or edit files in this folder. Instead of logging out of your regular user account and logging in as "root", you can temporarily grant yourself root privileges from a terminal window. A program started from this terminal window would then have root privileges.
So, open a terminal window by selecting the menu item: Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal. That should open a new window with a [your username@localhost ~]$ prompt.
The command su is used to change your effective user id and group id. Entered by itself with no arguments, it assumes you want to become the "root" user and will ask for the root password. Enter this now:
And click on Save. That's all you need to do in order to add the Fedora Core 6 Extras repository so its contents will show up when you use the Add/Remove programs feature.
We're going to add two more repositories in the same manner. Copy and paste the text below from your browser to your text editor window and use "Save As" to save the file under the name listed above the text.
We're done adding repos now, so you can close the gedit text editor window. Back on the terminal window, we need to install something called protectbase. This will prevent any repositories other than yellowdog-updates from replacing files from your yellowdog-base.repo when you update. This is easy to do -- just enter or copy/paste the following three commands to your terminal window (you still need root privileges):
After that you can close the terminal window -- we're done!
Now you'll have many more applications available when you use the Add / Remove Programs feature in Yellow Dog. Select the menu item Applications -> System Tools -> Add/Remove Software. The "Retrieving software information" stage will now take longer to complete since it has more to do.
In some cases an RPM will call for a dependency not included in these or the yellowdog repos since they’re included in Fedora Core 6 base. In this case you can install the dependency directly from the Fedore Core 6 download server.
To do this, simply click on the link to the RPM you need to download it. Firefox should open a window asking how you want to open the file, with Software installer as the default selection. Click OK to confirm the selection.
When the download has completed, the Software Installer will ask you for your root password. Then a "Installing packages" window will open. Click on Apply. In a few moments it should say "Software installed successfully." Click OK.
As you can see, it's possible to install directly from a repository when necessary, but this is not the preferred method of doing things. Note the naming convention used by most RPM's:
name - The name of the application
version - The version of the application (as in development, debug, etc)
release - The release number of the application
distribution - The Linux distribution for which it was packaged (fc4, fc5, ydl, etc.)
architecture - The type of hardware for which it was compiled (x86, ppc, x86_64)
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are other compatible repos you can use with Yellow Dog Linux, but it is possible for two repos to be incompatible with each other. Livna and FreshRPMs are said to be incompatible. While you might not see any immediate problem if you set up both, you will most likely run into problems later.
However, it is OK in some cases to install an RPM directly from zod (FC6) freshrpms. For example, click on "Choose a group to list" in the upper right corner and select "Emulators" to find the snes9 ppc.rpm.
If you're searching Google for an application, you need to know that you'll need one specifically for Power PC (ppc) architecture, preferably for Yellow Dog Linux (ydl) or Fedora Core 6 (fc6). It's possible that a package for Fedora 7 (fc7) may work fine, as in the case of mednafen found on Dribble. The Fedora 7 RPM for vice on Dribble does NOT work for Yellow Dog 6, however, so it is best to stick with the FC6 RPM instead.
Complete Listing of repo files: There seems to be some confusion about what repo files to use. In case you have somehow overwritten your original repo files or added incorrect ones, this list includes the 3 yellowdog repos included in the distribution, plus the 3 added in this guide.