[colug-432] The Group

Joshua Kramer josh at globalherald.net
Fri Dec 18 23:09:34 EST 2009

> on. With linux, one of the big secrets (to me) is how to revert back from
> a program install. So much confusing stuff happens when a program is
> compiled and installed. I'd like to suggest that as a topic for a meeting.

Interesting you should mention that, Steve.  Here's what I do.

If the package I want is not available from one of the RHEL-compatible 
repositories, it's time to compile the package.  Hopefully, all of the 
required libraries are already installed in the OS (or in installable 
packages).  If that's the case, I'll use the prefix option to drop 
everything under /opt.  For example, compiling joe editor 3.7:

./configure --prefix=/opt/joe-3.7

Then, where needed, I'll add symlinks to the other directories.  For 
example, in this case, /opt/joe-3.7/etc/joe would be softlinked to 
/etc/joe.  If I want to rid my system of joe, I simply delete the 
directory under /opt, and all of the directories that are softlinked to 

Sometimes, things get more complicated.  For example, when CentOS 5 first 
came out, I wanted to compile PGAdmin (PostgreSQL GUI tool).  However, 
PGAdmin requires wxWidgets.  So, I downloaded wxWidgets and created a 
configure script for it (because at the time, wxWidgets config was a bit 
complicated).  I set the --prefix option to /opt/wxWidgets-2.6.4.

Then, I downloaded PGAdmin, and ran configure thusly:

./configure --prefix=/opt/pgAdmin-1.10 --with-wx=/opt/wxWidgets-2.6.4

Of course, the proper way to do this would have been to create an RPM 
package from the tarball, then install that properly.  Here is a thread 
containing information about how to create an RPM package:



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