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How do you compile software on Linux?

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Most programs you can download in source form can be compiled using the following simple steps:

  1. Extract the source package (ex. ‘tar xzvf programname-version.tar.gz’), this will create directory programname-version. Chdir into it.
  2. Run ‘./configure’. This checks the build environment to make sure your compiler works and has the proper libraries installed.
  3. Run ‘make’. This compiles the program.
  4. Run ‘make install’. This places the binaries in the appropriate location(s).
  5. Depends on GCC version also