I am new to Linux, and when I went to download an application (Wine to be exact), I discovered that there are many different types of RPMs, which I guess are the equivelant to .exe files on Windows. Anyway, I was able to find RedHat RPMs, and the proper version, however I am a little confused about the different extensions right before the .rpm, those of which include athlon, i386, i686, and src (I'm guessing means source). Does the extension have something to do with the release of your version of Linux?
Those endings indicate what kind of CPU they are compiled for. The i386 packages will install and run on all PCs, i586 packages require Pentium or higher, athlon ones require (you guessed it...) AMD Athlon or higher.
The src ones are source RPMs, and you'll probably want to ignore them for now.
RPMs aren't exactly the equivalent of Windows' exe files. Exe files on Windows are actual programs that can be run. RPM files, on the other hand, are package files (RPM = Redhat Package Manager). They're kind of like ZIP files, but contain extra information on how to install the files in them.
I have an AMD Athlon processor. Do you think I should use i386 files or Athlon? Is there any difference?
you should probably download the rpm for athlon.these rpms for athlon are tested for use with athlon processor only..
Well, there is certainly a difference between the i386 and athlon packages, otherwise they wouldn't post both. ;-)
The difference is that, while i386 is ultimately compatible with all IA32 processors (that is, Intel, AMD, VIA, Cyrix, Transmeta, etc.), the athlon packages are compiled with optimizations for the Athlon. That is, the compiler will have used instructions that are unique to the Athlon, resulting in greater perfomance on an Athlon, but with the drawback that it won't work on other processors.
Thus, if you have an Athlon CPU, I see no point in not using the Athlon RPM. =)