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I am finding it difficult to know what to do with a tar file once I download. I looked at the tutorial on this site and the tar man page. They explain how to uncompress and other specifics like that, but are you suppose to create a new directory to install into or uncompress in your home folder...etc.
Is there a trick to it or unwritten rules? Also, sometimes the ./configure doesn't alway work.
You can uncompress anywhere you like (as long as you have write permission of course). As for why ./configure doesn't always work, you'll need to give more details about what you're trying to compile, and what error messages you're getting.
Distribution: Linux from Scratch 6.0, ClarkConnect server/gateway
(Assuming you're a total newb here, apologies if you're not)
/me slips into lecture mode
Generally tarballs are compressed either with gzip (*.tar.gz or *.tgz) or bzip2 (*.tar.bz2)
To extract, use a terminal and cd to the directory where the file is. Then type either
<code>tar xzvf name-of-file.tar.gz</code> or <code>tar xjvf name-of-file.tar.bz2</code>. In the vast majority of cases, it then creates its own subdirectory within your current directory. Extremely poorly archived stuff (*COUGH* openoffice *COUGH*) sometimes doesn't do this, and just dumps 50 files/directories in your lap. In those rare cases you have to put the tarball in its own directory.
Yes I am a complete newbie so details are very important. So, usually, I can uncompress in my home directory, read the readme or install file, usually run ./configure w/make, make install...etc, and the program will install itself where it needs to go? Am I close?
Originally posted by BNI
...In the vast majority of cases, it then creates its own subdirectory within your current directory. Extremely poorly archived stuff (*COUGH* openoffice *COUGH*) sometimes doesn't do this, and just dumps 50 files/directories in your lap. In those rare cases you have to put the tarball in its own directory. [/B]
You can figure out if it's extremely poorly archived by using the t option: tar tzvf name-of-file.tar.gz.