"One of the greatest strengths of the Open Source movement
is the availability of source code for almost every program. This
article will discuss in general terms, with some examples, how to
install a program from source code rather than a precompiled binary
package. The primary audience for this article is the user who
has some familiarity with installing programs from binaries, but
isn't familiar with installing from source code. Some knowledge of
compiling software is helpful, but not required."
"Although it may not be entirely obvious, the first thing that
you will need to do to install a program from source code is to get
the source code. While there are several excellent ftp archives,
often I've had better luck downloading and installing code from
individual project homepages...."
"Most of the source code packages available for download are
distributed as "tarballs". That is, all of the files required to
compile and install the application are included in one archive
file created with the archiving program tar. Since tar does not
perform any compression on the files, merely joins them together
under a single file name, the tarball is usually run through a
compression program like gzip or bzip before it is distributed.
Uaually[sic], such an archive will have a tgz file extension. For
the benefit of readers who have just switched from a Windows
platform, the combination of these two actions (archive and
compression) is very similar to PKZip or WinZip."
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