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Old 07-04-2003, 04:19 PM   #1
Jo_Nak
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Binaries? Source code?


Hi!

I was wondering what was exactly the difference between a binary and source. Because they often give you the choice to download the binaries or the source.

Is there a difference in the installation procedures? One is an executable, the other one is not? What do i need to download if i want to run the application?

Thx, i'm very confused.

Jo_Nak.
 
Old 07-04-2003, 04:21 PM   #2
Poetics
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The source code is simply that; all the code that the program uses to run. These files (generally tar.gz) need to be gunzipped, untarred, and then generally ./configure 'd, make 'd, and make install 'd. Think of binaries like Windows .EXE files; it's the executable part of the program. With the source code, though, it is possible to customize the install and tailor it to your needs through the ./configure process
 
Old 07-04-2003, 04:40 PM   #3
contrasutra
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Programmers write programs in source code. C, Java, etc. Unfortunatly, computers actually can not read this code, its only "human readable".

Computers speak in machine code (binary, 0s and 1s). So a binary is just that. A program where the source code has been converted ("compiled" is the usual term) into machine ready code.

When you compile (./configure, make) something, all you are doing is converting source --> binary. So a binary makes it easier for you.
 
Old 07-04-2003, 06:17 PM   #4
andrewlkho
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If you're a newbie, I strongly suggest using some sort of binary. That way, you can get help keeping track of dependencies. Personally, having gone through depency hell already, i now use debian, with it's handy apt-get feature. to install something, just apt-get <package>. That way, it'll automaticaly install any dependencies for you.
 
  


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