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TechRepublic: Linux basics: Installing an application from its source code

Apr 29, 2000, 21:22 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jack Wallen)

"You've come a long way in your Linux education! You've configured various aspects of your system, you've upgraded and installed with rpm, you've learned basic commands, learned about partitions, and now it's time to take your next step -- installing from source code!"

"Although this feat may sound daunting, it's actually quite simple. Thanks to the advanced compilers (gcc and friends) and well-documented README and INSTALL documents (included with nearly all source code), the compiling and installation of an application via its source code is not only a simple, but enjoyable, experience. Beyond the simplicity and joy, with an application compiled from source code, you have a program that runs more efficiently and cleanly. This is largely due to the fact that the particular application was compiled specifically for/on your machine. This has several advantages, of which efficiency tops the list."

"The first step in compiling from source is to get the source. I always try to make things simple, so I've decided to standardize this instruction and find a small application that is sure to work across distributions. The file to download is the source for a very simple console blackjack card game that can be found here. When Netscape asks you where you want to save the file, REMEMBER WHERE YOU PUT THIS FILE. I generally create two subdirectories within my /home/USER directory; one for rpm files (called rpms) and one for source files (called tars)."

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