Tip: building from source

Jul 10th, 2010No Comments

Ever reached a point where you simply have to compile a given application from source, but you find that to compile it you need all sorts of libraries that aren’t installed on your system? Do you then find you’ve no idea which packages contain all the libraries you want?

Fear not! The Debian (+Ubuntu/Mint) package manager has the answer ..

Assuming that there is a version of this application in the repositories, try doing;

apt-cache search <partial package description>
apt-get build-dep <full package name>

The first command can be used to locate the exact name of the package you’re interested in based on a partial description, the second will look at the package dependency list and install all of the development libraries the original Debian packager used when porting the application. If you are building a newer version of the application, this may not download all of the required libraries, but generally speaking it will either get all of them, or at the very least break the back of your detective work.

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