installing tar.gz files

p.daniels teeahr1 at
Thu Apr 3 12:28:06 UTC 2008

This is a great explanation. Can I post this to my blog?


On Thursday 03 April 2008 07:11:14 Luís Silva wrote:
> Hi!
> I don't know any graphical tool that lets you do what you want. On the
> other hand, what you want to do is pretty standard.
> A tar.gz is a set of files that was first archived with tar and then
> compressed with gzip. You will also often find tar.bz2. The difference
> being the compression utility used, in this case bzip2. tar itself can
> handle them both.
> Here is how it goes:
> 1- Create a folder named BUILD in your /home/YourUserName (This is just to
> keep your home tidy!)
> 2- move/copy the tar.gz into this folder
> 3- I suppose you have already used the command line before. If you did the
> above in the command line just cd to the BUILD folder. If not, open a
> terminal, type "cd" (without the ") (this is to make sure you are in your
> home folder), type "cd BUILD".
> 4- Now you are in the BUILD folder, you are going to unzip and untar the
> file: tar vxzf yourfile.tar.gz
> The "v" is for verbose, the "x" is for extract, "z" is because you have a
> gziped file (you should use "j" instead if you had a tar.bz2), and the "f"
> is to say that the next word is going to be your file name.
> 5- now you should have a new folder there. Check it with "ls -hl"
> 6- "cd" to the new folder.
> 7- Each program in source code comes with one or several scripts that
> perform the actual compilation and installation for you. Typically you have
> a "configure" script there. Again, check it with "ls -hl". Run it
> with "./configure"
> 8- If you get any errors just post them here so we can help you going
> through them. If don't just type "make". This should compile your program.
> 9- If everything went as expected, and you want to install the program in
> your system type "sudo make install" and enter your password when asked for
> it. 10- That's it. There are surely a lot of things I omitted. If you want
> to know more about each command you used (and you should be learning about
> these) type 'man command' on the command line (replacing command by what
> you want to know about.
> A nice thing about kde (I assume you are using kde) is that you have man,
> info and help available in konqueror. So typing man:command, info:command
> or help:command in the location bar gives you help on the desired command.
> For a newbie I would recommend its EXTENSIVE use.
> Ok! Have fun and keep trying. Don't stop just because something didn't work
> the first time.
> --
> Luís A. C. Silva
> lacsilva at
>  Version: 3.1
>  GCS/S d()>$ s: a? C+++(+++)$>+++ UL+++ P@ L+++(+++)$>+++ !E---(---)>---
> W++(++)>++ !N !o K--? !w---(---)?>--- O-(-) !M-(-)>- !V PS++(+) PE Y+ PGP-
> t+>$ 5++ X++ !R? tv b++ DI+++(++)>+ !D G+ e+++? h?>$ !r?* !y**
> ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------

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