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How to compile program under Linux / UNIX / FreeBSD

Q. I’ve downloaded tar ball software but I don’t know how to compile the same? Can you provide the instructions for compiling a program?

A. Many new users find it difficult to compiling programs in Linux. Usually following steps are involved:

a] Download tar ball using wget

b] Untar tar ball using tar command

c] Compile program using make or configure command

d] Install software

Task: compiling program

Step # 1: Download program tar ball:
$ wget http://url-com/prog.tar.gz
Step # 2: Untar tar ball :
$ tar -zxvf prog.tar.gz
$ cd prog

Step # 3: Untar tar ball:
Configure program:
$ ./configure
Compile program:
$ make
Install program (must be run as the root, login using su or use sudo):
$ sudo make install
$ su -
$ make install

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Ed Frome November 19, 2007, 3:05 pm

    Step # 3: Read README, INSTALL, and any other documentation. This will save a lot of hassles when configure and/or make fails.

  • nixCraft November 20, 2007, 7:30 am


    Yup, README or INSTALL will save tons of time. Appreciate your post.

  • Debashis Mohapatra February 13, 2009, 10:33 am

    I did not get clear picture about this scenario,which you have written

    Debashis Mohapatra

  • luke February 16, 2009, 6:29 am

    Hey folks
    I managed to compile the program, but how do I run it
    any help will be greatly appreciated

  • neeraj sinha July 28, 2009, 2:27 pm

    Everytime you don’t have configure or make files available…what can be done in those cases?

  • QQQ December 30, 2009, 11:06 am

    hey guys, if i want to remove a program i have compiled what can i do?

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