How to Install Source Files in Ubuntu

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For all those who are beginners in any linux(ubuntu) find hard to find the package files of their distro and end up in finding an source package(which is either in tar.gz or .gz).. so now people think how to install these source files.....

lets now see how would you be installing source files in ubuntu.....

source files contain the programs and hence before the installation you need to compile them... so you need to install the build-essentials from the synaptic package manager.... else this build-essentials is already present in the cd.. and so you can install it.....else you can install it typing it in the terminal by

sudo aptitude install build-essential

suppose you have a source file name src.tar.gz, what you do initially is that you need to extract the source files and then in the terminal....

navigate to the folder where the source file is extracted using the cd commands..... and then

type the following...


sudo make install

clean install

lets see what each one of them does...

./configure..... checks whether the required dependencies are available on your system or not..... if not an error is reported....

make compiles the source code and make install is used to install the program in to the location

if it asks for an installation location it is recommended to install all the source to /usr/src

clean install removes any temporary files created in the installation process of the source

and thats it your source file in installed in your system.

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41 Responses

  1. ali says:

    Tried that with some packages, it works great. Finally my cpu has to do something.

    But how can I get rid of an installed source package? “make uninstall” doesn’t work, neither does “apt-get remove”. It seems this removes only the sources but not the programm.

    Do I really have to reinstall linux and everything from scratch?

  2. kuldeep S Rao says:

    i have this problem while configure in firefox folder, wht to do

    root@kmmr-LINUX:/home/kmmr/Desktop/me/firefox# ./configure
    bash: ./configure: No such file or directory

  3. manikanta says:

    hai sir i am intrest to know the source code of ubuntu os please send the responce to this

  4. sachin says:


    When I type clean install I get the error:

    No command ‘clean’ found, did you mean:
    Command ‘uclean’ from package ‘svn-buildpackage’ (universe)
    Command ‘clear’ from package ‘ncurses-bin’ (main)

    Thanks in advance,

  5. tarus says:

    i got an error make: ***No rule to make target ‘install’. stop.

  6. Murugan says:

    Hi, Sir

    I downloaded vlc media player 2.0.1 in tar.xz format.

    Extracted the files

    changed the location in terminal to extracted locaion.

    When i type the command ./configure
    it showed me the error
    configure: error: No package ‘dbus-1’ found.

  7. Austin says:

    was downloaded from ralink to install a wifi adapter into linux and these were the drivers.. after the read me, the makefile.. f**k Trying to compile source code in .b2z files!! were is our “automatic compiling of .b2z folders” [installer software application] automation that will turn them into .deb?!? i dont understand terminal luanguage?!? The .EXE was there to make it EASY!! [[automatic compiling of .b2z folders, will become automation Software building application]] any sorce .b2z that you get, should automatically be compiled with this new Compiling Software… What the F**K?!? *Face, Palm..

  8. hakki hakkican says:

    It should be “make clean” I just tried on ubuntu 12.04 version and it’s worked.

  9. Yep says:

    RE: Austin

    I feel your pain. If you look at the original date of the how-to then our dates you see that not much has changed. I still laugh when the original explanation STILL seems completely acceptable to these folk 5 YEARS LATER. It takes LONGER to terminal, make, install, clean install, blah-blah, than to just double-click and install. Try to convince the powers that be and it’s like pulling teeth. “Look at all the power you have at terminal” they say. Meanwhile, 5 out of 6 comments here are STILL trying to INSTALL their file/program instead of using it and getting back to work? It’s here that they turn a blind eye to the obvious. Look at ANDROID os. When the linux world WANTS you to use it. as in competing with apple, you are shot to the front of the line; a fingers touch away from bliss. In fact, you HAVE to root your device JUST to get terminal.

  10. Just4n says:

    RE: Yep

    The reason why it is acceptable is probably because it WORKS, I used windows(yuk) for 16 years and after switching to linux i literally felt that my life had been a waste up until then… Sure you have to do a bit more, Sure it can be a bit harder, But once you do it, it becomes much easier than Windoze or Android or anything else could hope to be. Also learning this stuff helps you in the future, And I use my programs much more than I watch the installation of them. Also using your computer isn’t supposed to be just to get a job done, It should be FUN. I’m loving Linux right now(Arch Linux ftw ^_^) and i’d probably DIE before i switched back to Windoze or Mac or anything else(With the exception of BSD) Also Android IS linux… And there’s plenty of linux distro’s that are just as EASY as android… and 4x as good. Even Arch linux has distro’s that are easy enough that even a n00b can get it nowadays. And thing’s like ubuntu are twice as easy to get/install as windoze and a million times as good.

  11. Nick says:

    You guys need to make things much easier and explain installation process as if you were teaching a child how to use a computer for the very first time. Most new comers, haver never in there lives used a command line. You have to hold their hand through the entire installation process.

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