/* Void Main's Red Hat Tips */

{ Red Hat Tips(); } else { main(); }
apt for Red Hat - apt-get - Synaptic - must have!
#include <stddisclaimer.h>

Pros: Have you ever heard the term RPM hell? Well forget it. This "apt" package brings Debian's excellent package management system to Red Hat. And as a bonus there is a cool graphical front end. RPMS have never been easier. Keeping your system updated has never been easier. Installing the coolest Linux apps has never been easier. apt for RPM along with http://www.freshrpms.net/ are two Red Hat must haves.

Makes installing packages easier because it will automatically select dependent packages for installation and let you view selected packages before installing them.

Makes removing packages easier because it will automatically select dependent packages for removal and let you view selected packages before removing them.

Does not interfere or hinder in any way the normal use of the "rpm" command, database, or the Red Hat Packages utility. Too many more pros to list here.

Cons: Not all 3rd party RPMS are in the available apt repositories. Fortunately most of the best ones are there.

Ok, I'm convinced, now how do I set this up?

Let us begin: Get and install the latest "apt" and "synaptic" RPM packages for your distro from http://www.freshrpms.net/. I'll illustrate an example of the installation process on my Red Hat 9 system:

$ su  -
(enter root's password)

# rpm  -Uvh  http://ftp.freshrpms.net/pub/freshrpms/redhat/9/apt/apt-0.5.5cnc6-fr1.i386.rpm

NOTE:
If the above link is broken search "http://ftp.freshrpms.net/pub/freshrpms/redhat/9/apt/" for the latest "apt", the filename changes often.

# apt-get update
# apt-get install synaptic
# synaptic

That last command will start the Synaptic apt-get graphical interface. You will also find a Synaptic ICON on your Red Hat 9 menu under "System Settings". The first thing you might want to install is "MPlayer", which is one of the best media players around. You might as well install the skins as well. You can install both by clicking on "mplayer-skins" in the package list, then click the "install" button which will automatically select the "mplayer" package as well because the mplayer-skins package depends on mplayer being installed. You should notice that the "Proceed" button at the top is now active. If you click on the "Proceed" button Synaptic will download and install the two (or more) packages. Click the image below for a screenshot of the Synaptic interface:

Mozilla screenshot

Of course anything you can do in the graphical Synaptic interface you can also do on the command line. You can use apt-get very much like you use apt-get in Debian GNU/Linux:

# apt-get  install  mplayer-skins

This would have done the same thing that we did in the Synaptic interface in the previous example. Also, you'll periodically want to run the "apt-get update" command or click the "Update" button in Synaptic to get the latest lists of available packages. You can do an "apt-get upgrade" to upgrade any installed packages where newer versions of the packages exist (keeping your system up to date). There are a few other key commands you'll find in the manual page.

If you can not get out to the internet without going through a proxy server you will need to configure apt to use your proxy server. Edit the /etc/apt/apt.conf file and add this section to your configuration:


ACQUIRE
{
  http
  {
    Proxy "http://proxy.somewhere.com:3128/";
  };
};


Change the "http://proxy.somewhere.com:3128/" above to the URL of your proxy server. If your proxy server requires authentication you can add your username/password to the URL like this:

http://username:password@proxy.somewhere.com:3128/

The port (3128 in this example) may not be required for your proxy server. If you do need a username/password you may want to make sure non-root users on your system can not read this file:

# chmod  go=  /etc/apt

There are a few other repositories that you can add to your repository configuration. For instance, I have been doing some digital video editing with "Kino". It allows me to hook up my Sony Video camera via firewire and capture/edit my video. It is a very nice application. Here is a list of repositories that I use for all kinds of goodies, just add the following to your "/etc/apt/sources.list" file (or add them by clicking the "Repository" button in Synaptic):


# FreshRPMS
rpm http://ayo.freshrpms.net/ redhat/9/i386 os updates freshrpms
rpm-src http://ayo.freshrpms.net/ redhat/9/i386 os updates freshrpms

# Tux Family
#rpm ftp://apt-rpm.tuxfamily.org/apt redhat/9/en/i386 os updates extra
#rpm-src ftp://apt-rpm.tuxfamily.org/apt redhat/9/en/i386 os updates extra

# Planet CCRMA at Standford University
#rpm http://www-ccrma.stanford.edu/planetccrma/apt redhat/9/en/i386 os updates planetccrma
#rpm-src http://www-ccrma.stanford.edu/planetccrma/apt redhat/9/en/i386 os updates planetccrma


After adding the above repositories and clicking "Update" (or "apt-get update" on the command line) you should find the "kino" and associated apps in your package list.

Stupid apt tricks: You can usually resolve dependencies for RPMs that are not even in the apt-repository. Say you have an RPM that you want to install that isn't in the apt repository, you go to install it but it complains that you do not have required libraries installed and you have no idea where to get those libraries or what RPMs they might be part of. Dependency hell again right? Nope, you can just force install the RPM and then use apt to find and install the missing dependencies.

For example, installing "Firewall Builder"
# rpm  -Uvh  fwbuilder*rpm  libfwbuilder*rpm  --nodeps
# apt-get  -f  install


Further Reading:
more respositories Very nice! Includes many more apps (kino, wireless stuff, etc, etc)
My automated system upgrade script
Use apt-get to upgrade your system from Red Hat 8.0 to Red Hat 9
Getting MPlayer to work after installing
http://freshrpms.net/apt/
http://www-ccrma.stanford.edu/planetccrma/software (Caution on this one: See This Thread)
http://kino.schirmacher.de/article/static/4 (Kino Screenshot)
$ man  apt-get

Have fun!

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