Visit Jeremy's Blog.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 03-09-2007, 09:13 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 4

Rep: Reputation: 0
Installing from source

Hi {Newbie here}

I often get files from the internet and they have an src extention. Now I understand that these are the source files.

I just learned to untar these files as they are in gz or bz2 format.

I want to know what exactly ./configure means and after that i should be typing make and then make install.

On some files i tried make and it did not work

Also I got confused with makefile.gnu or just makefile

I think if someone can direct me to as to what a source files generally contains and how to install it then I guess my confusion will clear. I like the rpm part, but then some dependencies are always missing. to be honest I miss the windows EXE style of installing. I wonder why in Linux, they do not come up with something like that.

Anyway thanks to all those who pass by either to read or reply. Have a gret day.
Old 03-09-2007, 09:28 AM   #2
Registered: Nov 2005
Distribution: xubuntu, grml
Posts: 451

Rep: Reputation: 38
maybe this will help, article on installing from source:
Old 03-09-2007, 09:47 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 4

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
thanks pal
Old 03-09-2007, 09:50 AM   #4
Registered: Dec 2006
Location: Kokomo and Muncie, IN
Distribution: Slackware 11.0
Posts: 36

Rep: Reputation: 16
I'm still a bit of a Linux n00b myself, but I install EVERYTHING from source (running Slackware and all ) and this is basically how I understand it (IF I'M WRONG PLEASE CORRECT ME!):

./configure simply prepares the code to be compiled and makes sure you have the right compiler installed, etc.

make tells the compiler which source code to process (ie organizes everything) and compiles everything

make install actually "installs" the program

I know that's super vauge, but hopefully it gives you an idea...

Your best bet is to start reading those README and INSTALL files included in the source, they'll give you pretty clear instructions on what to do and save you quite a bit of time and frustration down the road. After installing a variety of software from source, you should start noticing specific files and from there be able to figure out what commands to use to install it.

For example, if there is a bin file in there called "configure", you'll probably have to run ./configure, followed by make and make install (make install always as root!). Many programs include this configure file, but some don't. Even when there isn't a configure bin file, there will be a makefile 99% of the time.

I have run into software that includes its own GUI "install wizard" this case you'd have to run something like ./programName_installer (again, read all the README and INSTALL files, these will tell you if this is the case).

Anyway, sorry this is so long, I hope that it was SLIGHTLY informative! Never be afraid to play with things and have patience, that's the best way to learn! Good luck


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Installing php package after installing from source shubb Slackware 4 03-14-2006 10:19 AM
Installing from source, installing from CVS and the E-17 window manager... Buffbannana049 Ubuntu 10 02-14-2006 11:27 PM
apt-get kernel-source is installing the wrong kernel source. JordanH Ubuntu 10 07-08-2005 05:42 PM
installing source zexter Linux - Software 11 11-07-2004 03:53 PM
installing source from cd? JaYcEeXP Linux - Software 1 06-06-2003 10:42 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:36 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration