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1 Introduction

The GNU Source Release Collection (GSRC) provides a simple way to install the latest GNU packages on an existing distribution. By using GSRC, the GNU source packages from are automatically downloaded, compiled and installed, either in your home directory or a system-wide directory such as /opt.

At its core, it is a presentation of the current state of the GNU system, in the most appropriate form: buildable and installable source code. GSRC makes it easy to discover great new software from the GNU system, as well as providing other benefits over standard software distributions. It allows you, for example, to install easily GNU software for yourself on a system on which you do not have permission to install software system-wide; or to install the latest, unpatched packages when those distributed with your operating system are outdated or not configured to your liking.

GSRC is based on the GAR build system by Nick Moffitt and the GARstow enhancements by Adam Sampson. GAR was inspired by BSD Ports, a Makefile-based build system, and is written in GNU Make. The GARNOME build system for GNOME was another example of a system using GAR.

Note that GSRC is not intended to be a full package management system or source distribution. It is just a more convenient way to compile GNU packages from source on an existing system.

Because GSRC is not a full distribution you will sometimes need to install other packages from your distribution to build and run GNU programs. For example, GSRC itself does not include Perl or Python, so you will need to make sure these are already installed for GNU programs which use them.

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