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1.1 Building GNU packages

If you have never built a GNU package by hand, this section will briefly show the process so you will have an idea of what GSRC is doing. If you are already familiar with this, you may skip this section.

The build process is performed via commands entered into a shell, which is generally done in a terminal or a terminal emulator. The dollar sign in the following examples represents the shell prompt, denoting the point at which you enter commands, while the characters following the prompt show the commands that you must enter. While much of the build process is conveniently automated, such that you do not need to manually compile every file, you still must take a few steps.

For example, to build the package “hello” version 2.9, you must perform the following steps in your terminal:

  1. Download the package and unpack it
    $ wget
    $ tar xvfz hello-2.9.tar.gz
  2. Run the configure script
    $ cd hello-2.9
    $ ./configure
  3. Compile the source code
    $ make
  4. Install it
    $ make install

In some unfortunate cases, the process is not as straight-forward and may require some extra intervention on your part. GSRC abstracts away most of these steps so that all you need to enter to install a program is make install.