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Old 02-21-2004, 09:18 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: IA-MO State Line
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04
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What are the Pro's and Con's of Updating From Source

I'm a great believer in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." However, I also believe in having "the latest and greatest." I'm currently running Mandrake 9.2--after moving from RedHat 9.

Are there disadvantages in updating things to new releases when running an older version of the application that was installed as part of the distro?

For example, Mandrake 9.2 natively supports ALSA ver 0.9.6--and has rpm's to support this. However, the current version of ALSA is 1.0.2c. I would like to update, but my sound--Audigy2 Platinum-ex--is working fine. AND I haven't been able to find any rpm's to support the move. I've read the HOWTO's in this forum and I'm thinking that "freshening" up by using the source would be a good idea, but I think I remember reading a caveat somewhere that this isn't a good idea.

I would appreciate any thoughts or feedback.
Old 02-21-2004, 09:57 AM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Sparta, NC USA
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I have found it much easier to use the pre-built packages for binary distributions.

If you want "bleedin' edge", I suggest trying Gentoo or some other source based distro.

# Guides to software management
LNAG - How do I install a program I downloaded from the Internet?
Rute Guide's software explanation
You might want to check out CheckInstall to manage source code installations/uninstallation
Old 02-21-2004, 10:55 AM   #3
Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Gentoo
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I use Slackware-current, keeping it updated using swaret (

I just have to run "swaret --update" and then "swaret --upgrade" every day or so, keeps everything up to date for me. I was able to upgrade to the newest alsa doing that.

Here's a look at several distro's package managements:

Debian's apt-get looks great... I tried to install Debian a week or so ago though, and I eventually gave up. It was just too confusing. The whole thing is so big and complicated YMMV on that though.

Last edited by mary; 02-21-2004 at 10:58 AM.
Old 02-22-2004, 05:34 AM   #4
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: IA-MO State Line
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04
Posts: 59

Original Poster
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Thank you both for your comments and reference links.

I understand the package management process--I think, just got comfortable with Mandrake's urpmi yesterday. I'm looking at "tuning" the packages once they're installed.

Here's a specific example. I installed Mandrake 9.2 about three weeks ago. I have it "up and running" and now I'm "tweaking." I discovered that there are new releases of ALSA, XMMS and KDE. Reading the changelogs tells me that these new versions have features that I like. However, there are no binary packages, which contain these new releases, available yet. I'm asking if anyone knows of any documentation or has personal experience in the pros and cons of "freshening" the packages from the tarballs of these new releases.

Thanks again for your input.


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