Q. I’m new to Linux. Over few days I found lots software distributed as .tar.gz file. How do I install tar.gz files under Linux?
A. tar.gz also known as tarball, an archive format for electronic data and software. Most Linux tarball contains a source code for software. If you are new to Linux I recommend using apt-get, rpm and yum command to install all binary packages.
Tarballs are a group of files in one file. Tarball files have the extension .tar.gz, .tgz or .tar.bz2. Most open source software use tarballs to distribute programs/source codes.
# 1: Uncompress tarball
To uncompress them, execute the following command(s) depending on the extension:
$ tar zxf file.tar.gz
$ tar zxf file.tgz
$ tar jxf file.tar.bz2
$ tar jxf file.tbz2
Now change directory
$ cd path-to-software/
# 2: Build and install software
Generally you need to type 3 commands as follows for building and compiling software:
# make install
- ./configure will configure the software to ensure your system has the necessary functionality and libraries to successfully compile the package
- make will compile all the source files into executable binaries.
- Finally, make install will install the binaries and any supporting files into the appropriate locations.
# 3: Read INSTALL / README file
Each tarball comes with installation and build instructions. Open INSTALL or README file for more information:
$ vi INSTALL