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Old 05-12-2005, 04:59 PM   #1
Registered: Mar 2005
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Questions about compiling kernels/programs...

I've been using Mandrake 10.1 Official for a couple of months now, and I'm beginning to dig around under the hood to find out what makes it tick. I'm really enjoying the experience I'm having with Linux, so far, and have discovered that I seldom ever have to boot into my Win98 setup for anything. Linux has everything I need for the most part.

I've hunted around a bit on the 'Net, but haven't found anything that really explains compiling sources to my satisfaction as a newcomer, in language that I can digest easily. If anyone knows good links, I'd be grateful.

I'm curious as to the benefits of compiling the latest kernel, verses installing the kernel rpms on my system. I read somewhere that compiling the kernel can make my system faster, so of course that caught my attention...

And also I was wondering if there are any benefits to compiling and installing programs from .tars, .vs rpms. I know rpms are easy, I've done lots of those, and I've also toyed with a couple that I've compiled myself, but I'd like to have a greater understanding of the whole deal.

As well, are there any benefits to installing .src.rpms, verses plain old rpms? Everything I've read on .src.rpms is that newcomers should stay away from them until they know what their doing. Well, I wanna know what I'm doing!

Is installing a .src.rpm the same as compiling a source myself? Probably not, but I thought I'd ask.

I use my system as my media center for watching movies and listening to music, but I've been unhappy with the performance of ALL of the media players that I've found via rpm. Would I have better results from say, XMMS, if I compiled it myself from source? And if I compiled if from source, would I be able to use urpmi to install the plugins for .flac and .shn after the fact, or would those have to be compiled as well?

How difficult is it to uninstall a program that was compiled if I decide I'm not happy with it? I assume it's not as easy as digging into the package uninstaller and removing it.

Thanks for humoring me!
Old 05-12-2005, 05:06 PM   #2
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Registered: Dec 2004
Distribution: Slackware, ROCK
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When I first started using linux, I was completely confused when it came to compiling. It seemed no matter what I tried it failed. About the only advice I can give is to just jump in and start trying, pay attention to errors you get and how to fix them. it will all make sense in time and after awhile it's more or less second nature. a note about rpm distro's ( and debian based too), they split their packages, so for example gtk+-2.4 will have two packages: gtk+-2.4.x-i486.rpm and gtk+-2.4.x-devel-i486.rpm - both are required to compile a program that needs gtk2. also, look into checkinstall or rpmbuild to make packages of your builds and install the package instead of doing "make install", this will make it easy to remove something you compiled ( if you do "make install" you will either have to keep the source directory around or manually pull the files from your filesystem ( for some packages this will be very tedious)).
Old 05-12-2005, 05:14 PM   #3
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Registered: Jun 2003
Location: California
Distribution: Slackware
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Originally posted by Boby
Read: Compiling Programs from Source by Jeremy
Compiling from source is the Slackware way to go


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