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Authored by: pmccann on Dec 03, '01 09:16:32AM

The change for the better was the switch to the command line version of tar over stuffit expander. All the sudo's could be put back to bed! The general routine is something like:

download package.tar.gz to some directory you're allowed to write to. (You might want to make a special "source" directory to hold your downloaded software; I use ~/src, but you could just as easily make a directory anywhere relatively sane! My old habit has the downside of bloating my user directory, adding a slight complication to my backups. I don't want to back up all the software I've downloaded every time I make a CD out of my home directory.).

gnutar zxf package-blah.tar.gz # the built-in tar also works fine in virtually all cases
cd package-blah
sudo make install # if all was well with the previous command

In this whole procedure the final command is the only thing that (might) require the sudo preface. That's because it'll normally be dumping things into locations such as /usr/bin, /usr/lib, /usr/local/include, and these tend to be writeable only by root. All the preliminary steps involve writing files strictly within the directory in which you unpacked the tarred/gzipped source files, and so can be done as a plain old user. "make install" essentially means "take the compiled versions that we made in the "make" step and cast them into their final resting spots."


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