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Linux Newbie Administrator Guide


cd into it:


cd the_new_program_subdir

Since some of the directories have long names, I use the great autocompletion option to save on typing--I just type the first few letters and then press <TAB> .

Fourth, most programs are compiled by executing these three commands:



make install

The above commands can take some time to complete (1 min? 0.5 h?). If any of them fail, it might be an idea to read the README or INSTALL or whatever info is provided with the new program. Some programs may require customization of the environment (e.g. definition of their path) or installation of an additional library, or yet something else. It can sometimes be a pain. Very simple programs might not need the "./configure" or/and "make install" step, in which case "make" alone will do.

Fifth, if everything goes well, I find the new executable which I just compiled. The names of executables display in green when running this command:

ls --color

Now, I can run the executable, for example:


Some programs automatically install the executable to /usr/local/bin, so I may want to try:


Sixth, if I plan to run the program more often, I create a symbolic link to the executable from the directory /usr/local/bin :

cd /usr/local/bin

ln -s /usr/local/the_new_program_subdir/the_executable

This way, the executable (actually, a symbolic link to it) is on my PATH and it can be run by simply typing its name (no need to type the full path to the executable any more). Some programs will install the executable (or a link to it) in a "bin" directory in which case you skip the last step. Installation from source code rpm package

There are also programs distributed as "source code rpm" packages. They require installation of the *.rpm package with the "rpm" utility as described in the first part of this chapter. But since the "rpm" installs the source code (typically in the C language source code), I then have to compile the source code by executing the same: "./configure ; make ; make install" sequence as for the source code distributed as tarballs (see the previous answer).

5 Linux Newbie Administrator FAQ

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