Yeah - sorry - I put them on separate lines meaning they're separate commands. Unless something's on the path (which is usually just bin-type directories) you're always going to have to put full pathnames.
So the command to untar/zip is:
tar -xzvf /mnt/cdrom/filename.tar.gz
If it's just an uncompressed tar, it's
tar -xvf blahblah
and so on for other archive and compression formats. (man tar for all that.)
And then you cd to the directory, such as /where you installed it/filename - you can cat the INSTALL and README and other doc files if you want (good idea, but not always necessary).
And then you configure it:
Then build it:
Then su to root, type in your password and install:
As long as the libraries are found and the directory structure is good and the system is capable and so on, you've got a program. You can run programs - say you're doing joe - in between make and make install you can type ./joe, I think, and it should run. So you know everything's good. So then make install. The scripts will generally send it to /usr/local/bin along with man pages to /usr/local/man and so on. /usr/local/bin should already be on your path, so type in the app name and it runs.
But as far as just untarring - like say it's some of your personal files that aren't executable, yeah - 'tar -xzvf /mnt/cdrom/files' will untar them and you can 'fooeditor foofilename' or whatever you want to read/edit them. The rest of the stuff is just for compiling. Oh, and as far as your libraries, those'll probably go to /usr/local/lib as they aren't executables so much as for
-- Oops. I was typing slow while you were editing - this is kind of a pointless post now. *g*