Does Linux Software work on any distro or do certain software work on certain distros?

I was thinking about downloading some open source music making software apps, my only concern is that they may not work with the Garuda flavor (gaming ver.) because some of them list distros like Ubuntu, but most just say flat out Linux. Does that mean I can download it on the Garuda distro and it’ll work fine or do I got to switch flavors just to make it work?

Depends on what kind of package we are talking about here. A lot of different packaging are specific to certain disro(s) (like RPM, DEB, etc), however there are more universal packaging out there like Flatpak. Also things that "could" work like Snaps, aren't really well supported on Arch-based systems like Garuda Linux and thus most say to avoid at all cost.

That being said, check the AUR or Chaotic-AUR with Octopi (or your software manager of choice). There might be a good chance whatever software you are looking for is there ready to download and install in a native manner.

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The answer to your question is yes and no. :slight_smile:

If the source code is available, chances are good that you can compile the software for arch/garuda. But that should only be the last resort.

First you should search for the software in the repository (for example using octopi) and if that does not help, search in the aur (for example here https://aur.archlinux.org/ and install for example with paru ).

If both ways fail, then you should come back here (or so) and ask for a specific software so people can have a look.

Btw.: look for Arch install instructions, they should work well with Garuda. :slight_smile:

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Depends on what you are looking at. Most things are available across all linux distros. Arch (which is what Garuda is based on) has the AURs you can search. In fact since both Pamac and Octopi link directly to the AURs you can search in either of those. I prefer using Pamac just because it is more structures like a software/app store than a package manager making it easier to use. This is an advantage of the AURs for Arch-based distros like Garuda because unlike with debian, ubuntu, suse, fedora, etc where you may have to go to the developer's site to download the deb or rpm files if it is not in the software centres of the distro, the AURs in Arch contain pretty much everything available on linux.

Personally, the only things I have found that I have needed but could not find in the AURs are the drivers from my epson v600 scanner and the Cudominer software I use to mine crypto. Everything else is in the AURs.

For the 2 or so things not in the AURs but available as *.deb files, there is a tool called debtap that you can install and use to convert ubuntu/debian deb files into *.zst files that you can then install using pacman. You can find instructions on how to use that here: https://www.addictivetips.com/ubuntu-linux-tips/debian-packages-on-arch-linux/

For the most part, debtap conversions work perfectly well. The only application I have had issues with has been cudominer. It works for CPU mining but doesn't seem to finds my GPUs. This could be just a configuration thing I have not looked into fixing because I have not had the time and I already have an Ubuntu rig I do the mining on.

For rpm files, you can try the instructions on this site: How to Install RPM Packages on Arch Linux — marcelo cubillos

As another alternative, you can also search flathub (Flathub—An app store and build service for Linux) , or Appimage hubs like https://www.appimagehub.com/ and apps – AppImages. This way you avoid having to compile code (in did day and age on Linux no one should need to compile code unless they really want or need to like to apply an unimplemented patch/stud to a WINE build).

But like others have said, first search the AURs for the software you want to install before going down the path of converting deb or rpm files over to Arch or using flathub or appimage.

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Look here:
https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/List_of_applications
and here,
https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/List_of_applications#Audio

Always consult these two sources first.

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This is my understanding of how software support distros:

  • If the software is FOSS, it makes its way to most package managers and distros, let it be debs, rpms, Arch packages, AUR, Gentoo ebuilds, so on.
  • Closed source software usually use Linux interchangably with Ubuntu, so when a close sourced software advertises as "we support Linux" they usually support Ubuntu. The biggest example is ironically Steam, but there are exceptions like TeamViewer which offer downloads for various distros. Again, this doesn't prevent closed source software from running on other Linux distros.
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If you will Google them, you will find out what you don't understand. Your "understanding" is completely mis-understood.

EDIT: And I'm a sad clown if I don't help you a little:

https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/floss-and-foss.en.html

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I think you are going to the software's website and checking for executable files like in Windows.
If you go to discover in KDE or gnome-software in Gnome, etc. You will find most of the software you are looking for.
You can have a look here too: https://pkgs.org/

Or you can simply search for the package in the distro repositories using the search command
in Garuda: pacman -Ss 'package_name'

Why do you use sudo here?

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It has become a habit to use sudo with pacman, :sweat_smile:

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Because Pacman is a dirty little ho that wants paid up front? :wink:

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