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Installing code from gzipped tar files

My C source code generally comes as a gzipped tar file. You need to unpack this and compile the program then move the executable to somewhere in your path.

Downloading

If you are using Netscape, you will probably need to press shift when you click the link to download the gzipped tar file.

If you are using Microsoft Explorer, you may need to right click on the link and chose the option to save the link to a file.

Unpacking

If you have the GNU tar program (which you will if you use Linux and may have on other systems), you can uncompress and unpack the file in one go:

tar zxvf filename.tgz

If you do not have the GNU tar program, then you must have the gzip toolkit installed and uncompress and unpack the file as follows:

gzip -d -c filename.tgz | tar xvf

Older versions of tar may need you to use -xvf rather than xvf

Either way, you will end up with a new subdirectory containing the unpacked distribution.

Compiling

To compile the program, enter the newly created directory. There you will either find a script compile.sh or a Makefile.

If there is a compile.sh script file, then simply source the file:

source compile.sh

If there is a Makefile, then you normally just need to use the make command:

make

If the compilation is more complex (for example there are any installation dependent options that need to be set), then there will be a file called 00READ.ME or INSTALL. If so, read this file for detailed compilation instructions.

Installation

In most cases, installation is simply a matter of moving the executable program created in the previous step to somewhere in your path (e.g. in a sub-directory of your home directory called bin).

If the installation is more complex (for example there are any data files that need to be installed or environment variables to be set), then there will be a file called 00READ.ME or INSTALL. If so, read this file for detailed installation instructions.