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Thursday, October 17, 2013

How to install Linux / UNIX *.tar.gz tarball files

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
$ ls
$ cd path-to-software/

# 2: Build and install software

Generally you need to type 3 commands as follows for building and compiling software:
# ./configure
# make
# 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: