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Old 03-03-2004, 11:18 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2
Posts: 80

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Source vs. Binary?

I was thinking about downloading Partition Image and
I was wondering what the difference is between
the source and the binary file. Do they both need the
typical ./configure, make, make install commands to

Last edited by rhraz; 03-03-2004 at 11:42 AM.
Old 03-03-2004, 11:45 AM   #2
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Boston, MA
Distribution: Redhat / Debian
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The binary is the installer, the source is the source.

If you don't care about compiling it yourself, you just need the binary. It's handy to get both sometimes though, as you might run into the binary needing to be compiled for your kernel version.
Old 03-03-2004, 01:11 PM   #3
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Registered: Mar 2004
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some sofware distribution s run directly form binary, without any installation process..
as seventh says, when you dont need to do any specific change in the program, or at least you dont need any specifif installtion you can use binary distirbution...

But the meaning of free software is having the source, huh?
Old 03-03-2004, 01:24 PM   #4
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2
Posts: 80

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I got the binary version of the app. Just un tar'ed it and it worked fine. Yes, free software is having the source code with it. But I'm anything but a programmer so I don't really need it anyway.
Old 03-03-2004, 05:16 PM   #5
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Generally speaking, if you have a binary which was compiled for your specific distribution you should have little trouble running it. These are often compiled to accomodate the widest range of users, though, so sometimes you might have problems...if you're running a custom kernel or have conflicting applications installed, for example. In these situations it may be better to compile the program from source.

Personally i prefer the source approach, though occasionally I find an application that gives me trouble during the build. If it's worth the effort to find out why , then I'll attempt to fix it. If not, I'll try a precompiled binary. This isn't really the best choice though, imo, since it seems these binaries are more likely to crash or have performance issues. If there are problems in the compile, this may be the result of software conficts...simply using a precompiled binary is the equivalent of a bandage rather than a cure.


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