Installing programs from source can make programs run fast and be more personalized, however it can easy or difficult to get the source to configure and compile.

Cost Time Difficulty Age Group
0$ Varies Varies NA


  • Standard programs automake, make, and gcc. These are most likely already installed
  • All the prerequisites the program requires. If you usually use install programs from binaries, (rpm, deb), you will probably have to install devel or src packages. If that doesn't work, you may have to install the prerequisites from source.


  • Untar the source code if it has an extension tgz, tar.gz, or tar.bz2. See: Howto untar a tar file or gzip-bz2 tar file
  • Configure the install by changing into the untared directory, and execute ./configure
    • ./configure is the default configuration, most of the time its satisfactory. By executing ./configure --help, it will display all the configuration options. The install directory is set by adding the flag --prefix=/usr or --prefix=/usr/local
  • Execute make, and this will compile the program
  • Execute make install to install the program, make sure you are logged in as root, or try sudo make install
For bzip2 files
tar xvfj *.tar.bz2
make install
For gziped files
tar xvfj *.tar.gz
make install

Debugging ErrorsEdit

  • There are too many, the best way to solve the problem is to copy the error into google.
    • Do not use the line Leaving Directory XXXXX
    • Remove the line number from the error foobar.h:2132 Error: XxxXxxx, often they are not the same from file to file, even when the errors are the same.
    • Remove common and uncommon prefixes, remove /usr/local/lib/ from /usr/local/lib/ because on different systems they are in different places

      From HowTo Wiki, a Wikia wiki.
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