If you're doing things manually, you'll work around all possible auto-update systems of your package manager. Doesn't redhat have some auto-update system you could use?
Installing from a tarball isn't really hard, but just requires a little more effort. Redhat has a little confusing thing; you need the "-dev" packages to be able to compile software.
- extract the tarball:
tar zxf gimp-1.2.5.tar.gz
- browse the documentation quickly to see there is anything special:
- configure the compiler process: (read the help first, but usually the options are ok)
...maybe you want to add a few other parameters, but usaully it's detected automatically.
- run the compiler: (this could take a while)
if everything went ok:
- remove your current rpm
- install the program
<enter your root password>
rm -R gimp-1.2.5
- exit the root-shell
- create your new shortcuts, and such.. :-/
* you might want to look for the newest 1.3 version of gimp, because it really rocks. (one confusing thing: it's name has changed from 'gimp' to 'gimp-1.3'.. type ln -s /usr/bin/gimp-1.3 /usr/bin/gimp to solve this)
* there is a tool called "checkinstall", which will monitor the "make install". It could create an RPM for you, which you could eventually remove as well. It requires you to type "checkinstall" instead of "make install".
* If you omit the --prefix option of the configure script, it will by default install in /usr/local/ This is recommended for a lot of packages, unless you want to replace your current gimp installation.