[Novalug] Confusion about installing packages.
creitz at gmail.com
Tue Jan 30 20:22:12 EST 2007
Jim, more notes:
When you download a piece of software that comes as a .tar or a
.tar.gz (or .tgz), you might be about to "install from source." This
means you're getting the actual source code of the software and using
a compiler to turn it into a 'binary' that will run on your system.
Contrast this with the software you get from using yum, which are
usually already compiled.
As Nino said, after un-tar-ing (and un-gzip-ing if necessary), you'll
probably get a directory, in which you'll find instructions. Many
times the instructions will tell you to run the following commands:
The 'configure' step sort of probes your system to get an idea of
whether and how the software will compile. The 'make' step usually
compiles the software. The 'make install' step will take the finished
pieces and stick them in where they belong in your filesystem. To
write to these directories, you usually have be root, hence the
'become root' step before 'make install'. All of this can happen from
any directory you want. On most of my systems I have a directory in
my home directory called pkgs. Others may called it src; it doesn't
As Nino said, what you really want to do is look for the README file;
I just thought I could shed a little light on what's going on.
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