Software Installation from Source

Because CentOS comes with a complete software development environment available to it, there are usually no important barriers to keep you from installing software out of a tar.gz or a tar.bz2 by unrolling and then compiling it. This is referred to as the ./configure ; make ; sudo make install way, which environments without good packaging systems are forced to use

But there are several good reasons for not doing so except if you absolutely have to. And there are some caveats you have to keep in mind


Contra


Pro

If you absolutely cannot find the software you are looking for, then think about how you build and install the software


Caveats

<!> DO NOT attempt to install software packages which are part of CentOS as a source package, because you think you absolutely need the newest version. THIS WILL OFTEN BREAK THINGS

Once you do proceed down this path, you have stepped out of the automatic security upgrade process which the distribution usually provides. It becomes incumbent upon you and you alone, to stay abreast of the fixes and patch your own source tree, recompile, reinstall etc.

If you really, really, really have to do so, then try to install it in parallel to the existing software, for example in /opt or in /usr/local/

If you need perl modules, DO NOT use CPAN, as that will most likely break your perl installation. Please try to package the perl module with either cpan2rpm or use the spec template for perl modules from fedora-rpmdevtools. The same advice goes for python. Many of the independent packagers have had to solve these issues before you, and you should consider their Repository for a binary or source RPM solution

The fedora-rpmdevtools are in the kbs-CentOS-Extras Repository. See Repositories. These may also help you with building normal rpms


Conclusion

Do not build software from source, use other Repositories if possible. If you have to build software: Roll your own packages. If you cannot roll your own packages: Install the software in a non-conflicting place. NEVER overwrite software which is shipped with CentOS

And remember: If you break it, you get to keep both pieces. There will be no support from the IRC-Channel, for example

PackageManagement/SourceInstalls (last edited 2009-06-03 14:43:26 by FabianArrotin)