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i always feel like a dickhead when i have problems installing from source, so here i go: i downloaded the source tarball for tripwire 2.3.1-2 and tried following the instructions (post untarring) that said to look at the contents of the makefile in the src/ directory and edit it to fit your system architecture.
i read through the makefile and read that i must set the SYSPRE variable to specify what architecture i was compiling for. once i had checked that the appropriate SYSPRE variable was uncommented i issued the "make release" command that should compile the binaries, but i got an error message. here's how the section of my makefile with the SYSPRE variable looks:
# SYSPRE makefile variable
# System prefix convention is to use a single character to designate the
# operating system and a single character to designate the architecture.
# Uncomment the appropriate SYSPRE definition below for your architecture.
# Note that if you uncomment more than one, gmake will use the last one.
# Prefix for various OS/Architectures:
# i686-pc-linux == Linux Intel x86
# sparc-linux == Linux Sparc (not fully implemented)
thx a lot, i figured it was something i wasn't privy to, as the error message made no sense to me. i'll try to find the slack package, as it's easier than remembering to apply a patch if i install it again later.