installing from source
This was written as a reply to a question, but I figured it didn't answer the question... It's a useful explanation though...
Compiling source usually goes like this:
(optional) verify the download is error-free:
compare the result to a file that usually is named MD5SUMS, which can be downloaded in the same place as the archive.
unpack the archive:
tar xvzf blah.tgz
tar xvzf blah.tar.gz
tar xvjf blah.tar.bz2
note the j instead of z in the last one
go into the directory that was created, usually:
(usually, but not always) configure the source code:
or if you have special wishes:
./configure --help | less
./configure --option-you-just-read-about --another-option
if the compilation was successful (if it wasn't, that will be obvious by the last few lines before the return or the prompt), install:
sudo make install
Note not all packages can do make uninstall, and you can't use the package manager to uninstall software that was installed this way. Often it's a good idea to give ./configure the option --prefix=/opt/blah , so you can uninstall by deleting the directory /opt/blah . The downside is that software installed in /opt may not show up in menus.