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Introduction to Linux

By Machtelt Garrels

package format is becoming more and more popular. At the time of this writing, 5 of the top-10 distributions use it. Also apt-get (see Section 7.5.3.2 is becoming extremely popular, also on non-DEB systems.

7.5.2.3. Source packages

The largest part of Linux programs is Free/Open Source, so source packages are available for these programs. Source files are needed for compiling your own program version. Sources for a program can be downloaded from its web site, often as a compressed tarball (program-version.tar.gz or similar). For RPM-based distributions, the source is often provided in the program-version.src.rpm . Debian, and most distributions based on it, provide themselves the adapted source which can be obtained using apt-get source .

Specific requirements, dependencies and installation instructions are provided in the README file. You will probably need a C compiler, gcc . This GNU C compiler is included in most Linux systems and is ported to many other platforms.

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