Well, the "usual" is pretty much what it says. In the directory that (probably
) was created when you untarred the archive there are a set of files that you will need to install the program.
- This creates a Makefile from an IMakefile. More on that below.
is a program that reads Makefiles, which are plain text files with a weird syntax that tells make what to compile and how. Running make in a directory where there is a Makefile with result in make reading the Makefile and trying to follow the instructions as best as it can. make can see that in order to do one thing, such as compile this-or-that source file it first needs to compile some other file.
3. make install
. "install" is in this case (and in most cases) a target
in the Makefile. make will look at what needs to be done to accomplish this target. It usually involves copying the files created during compilation to various locations on your hard drive, usually in the /usr/local tree (where locally built software is meant to be installed) - the program file itself to /usr/local/bin, config files to /usr/local/etc or to /etc, shared stuff (documentation, icons, images and so on) to /usr/local/share.
4. make install.man
This is not too common. It's just another make target, probably only copying man pages (documentation) to the proper locations. Type man make
to see what a manual page looks like. There is documentation for most commands on a Linux system in this form and it's very useful. To quit browsing the man page simply press the Q character on your keyboard.
Actually, this is not the most common way of installing programs from source. Usually you first run a script called configure
in the root directory of the software package you downloaded instead of xmkmf. This is done by typing ./configure
. The leading dot and slash indicates that the program/script you want to run exists in this very directory (a single dot refers to the current directory, two dots refers to the parent directory). Configure scripts looks through what you have installed and if you have the required software and libraries needed to build the particular piece of software you have downloaded.
In order to be able to do all of the above - install software from source - you will have a fully functional development chain installed. This is often installed by default by most distributions but it's sometimes omitted, but all distributions supply it in one way or another. You will for instance need gcc - the GNU Compiler Collection, make, and an assortment of libraries.