Linux is an open-source set of operating systems distributed by different developers. Linux, as it is an open-source operating system, relies on users to create software for the community. Software for Linux is typically distributed in a .tar.gz, tar.bz2, or .zip file format. These are file archives that contain the necessary source code to compile a program. To install software from archives you need to enter your Linux Terminal.
Open the Linux terminal emulator—the process to do this will differ depending on which Linux distribution you are using. Check your distribution's user documentation if you do not know.
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Type "cd" to change the directory. Change the directory until you are in the same directory as your zip file. For example, if you are currently in "/home/you/" and the zip files is in "/home/you/folder/" type "cd folder" and press "Enter."
Type "unzip zipfile.zip" and press "Enter" (replacing "zipfile" with the name of the zip). Type "ls" to list the directory, and find the new folder you've created. Type "cd directoryname" and press "Enter" to enter the new directory, created by the zip.
Use the "ls" command to list the contents of the folder. If there is an "INSTALL" or "README" files, then type "more README" and press "Enter" to display the correct installation instructions. Some software will feature these files in case they have specialized installation instructions. If there is no specialized instructions, you can carry on with a default installation method.
Type "./configure" and press "Enter" on your keyboard, this sets Linux up ready to compile a program. Type "make" to begin compiling the program.
Use the "su" command to return to the root directory, then type "make install" and press "Enter" to install your new software into the appropriate place.