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Sasafras Jones wrote:Anyway, I downloaded a program called scilab that I wanted and now I have a file called scilab-5.1.1.bin.linux-i686.tar.gz
--Linux installation methods, .tar, .deb, .rpm etcetera.
In this case
In terminal, check
apt search scilab
p libscilab-java - Scientific software package for numerical
p scilab - Scientific software package for numerical
apt show scilab
State: not installed
If it is in the repository for the distribution, which it is in this case, it is quite often not the latest version, which may or may not work in your system, that would be installing from a source file .tar or a compressed source file tar.gz
--which requires being compiled for your system (which as indicated above may not exactly match, due to some dependencies that might be needed eg. /lib file versions and so on..