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Why with some software do you have to install or compile the source code youself, why can't it all be binary or installed into a package with .rpm extension?...
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  1. #1
    Linux Enthusiast
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    Compiling Software on Linux


    Why with some software do you have to install or compile the source code youself, why can't it all be binary or installed into a package with .rpm extension?

  2. #2
    Linux Newbie
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    I would guess because of the open source nature of Linux. If a programmer decides to share his source code but isn't interested in compiling it for a dozen different platforms himself, but decides to leave that chore to the end user... what of it?
    If I wrote an application on my PC and someone with a Mac running yellow dog is interested in using it. Is it my job to compile a binary for the Mac? And for every other architecture out there? Or can I just let you have the source and deal with the chore of compiling it for your own particular platform?
    If (exoskeleton || (green && wiggles)) eat_it();

  3. #3
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    Most packages are distributed as rpm's or some other form of pre-packaged binary, but some linux users, myself included, prefer to compile things from source code. The problem with binary packages is that when they are compiled, they are compiled with as many options enabled as possible, which leads to a whole load of dependancies. Compiling from source also allows you much more customizability, and usually run faster, e.g. the reason I chose gentoo. But aside from that, if you wait long enough, eventually somebody will packge it for you and distribute it as an rpm, you can also build one yourself for ease of installation later

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  5. #4
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    Not to forgott, Linux is just the kernel, GNU is the operating system, and are flavoured over a few distributions like Gentoo, Mandrake, RH, FC, Suse,Debian and so on. All those different distros use theire own set of libraries and file structure. (Yes, I know, a lot of them use the same, but not all)
    This is the "good" nature of Linux, where you basicly can create your own distro ater your own needs. The RPM's (pre-compiled binaries) have a few requirements and dependencies, thats why all pre-compiled packets like RPM .deb .tgz are distro dependent. A lot of Linux users like to know that they have the bleeding-edge/latest version avalible on theire software, why you most often need to download the source and compile it by your self.
    Even though just the fact when you compile it your self, you will have an environment that is made for your purpose and not as someone else thought was good. I.e. why would you like to have a flight simulator inside your Excel????

  6. #5
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    Well now I know some of the advantages to compiling software from the source

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