How to Compile a Linux App from Source

Compiling a Linux project from source can at first seem like a daunting task. It’s not. Here’s how to do it.

Normally, the project will have instructions for how to build and install it. Google that first.

Otherwise, follow these simple instructions:

  • Download a tarball (tar.gz or tar.bz2 file), which is a release of a specific version of the source code
  • Extract the tarball with a command like tar zxvf myapp.tar.gz for a gzipped tarball or tar jxvf myapp.tar.bz2 for a bzipped tarball
  • cd into the directory created above
  • Run ./configure && make && sudo make install

Wasn’t too difficult, was it?