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

“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

“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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