General question about linux installation

Most of the linux installers on net are in following format “tar.bz2”

Is that a valid installation file on openSUSE Gnome?
If not, is that a kind of installer on other linux flavours/OSes?

This is proving a little bit tiresome as many of the software and test builds are available in that format,no rpms are available

Finally can we use installers of format “tar.bz2” on openSUSE11.3/Gnome?

If so,is there a online guide where i can learn?
Also do we need to use any extra packages /software like c/c++ compilers to install using those installers ?

tar files are compressed archive files; they may simply need to be uncompressed and put in the right locations or may need further processing. They will normally contain a READ.ME describing what has to be done. Installers normally need rpm or deb files to work with.

The programs for openSUSE are in the RPM-format. The openSUSE packet manager knows to handle them. Finally you dont have to install programs from the net because all the important programs are on the openSUSE-Server (i think about 13.000+ packages). So you can search within your packet manager for new programs without opening your browser… That is easy because you can do that with a few clicks.

tar.bz2 is not a install format. Its only a compressed format. If you want to install that you have to read the readme inside the tar.bz2. Because every file is different. So better to use not, because they cannot be handled by the packet manager and cannot get security updates.

I actually asked this question because i would like to use some versions of software that are in development and i cannot find there developmental versions in the YaST repositories
I can find the released/stable versions though
Would it be too much of a pain to install from tar.bz2 using readme files ?

Not for me. But if you are new with Linux it might be a little bit painful.

In general when you install from source you must provide the language packages that the software is written in in order to compile it. Also the program may require the development packages for libraries files that it may require to provide needed header files. The readme should outline what is needed but sometimes programmers are terse and assume the person installing knows what is about.

If you get into a pickle post the output of the process here (error messages) and state exactly what package and version you are trying to install.