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How-To: Compile Programs From Source in Linux

Mar 11, 2009, 04:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Will Kraft)

"While Ubuntu and Debian have "backports" repositories that have fairly new packages in them, many other distros do not have such a resource. For large projects with large community support, the developer may offer nightly builds, but this is not the case for most projects. The only reliable way to get bleeding-edge software (stability issues aside) is to either find a repository that has it or download the source code from the developer and build it yourself.

"If you want to be a programmer at some point, you are going to need to know how to compile applications, since that is really the only way to develop your own projects and effectively contribute your own code to open source projects that other people have started.

"It is also wise to compile security-oriented software (like encryption tools) yourself. Although binaries are generally trustworthy if they came from an official repository or developer website, you can never really be 100% sure of what you're getting unless you build it yourself. (preferably after a code audit, if you have sufficient skill to do so)"

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