Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am trying to install the latest version of GTK+ and I have downloaded all the packages listed here:

In which directory should I extract each of the tar files and then install?

Note: the installation instructions (where there is an INSTALL file) are the standard ./configure, make and make install. It therefore seems to me that it's important where I extract each of the files.

share|improve this question

You should extract them into and build them in a normal user's home directory. You should install them into /usr/local via sudo.

share|improve this answer
So you are saying I should just extract them into /home/administrator, but then you are just suppose to type "make install". Will this put it in the right directory? – snooper May 24 '11 at 2:57
First you extract them. The you read the INSTALL file that comes along with each. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 24 '11 at 2:59
Yes I've read the INSTALL file. So just following the instructions will put them in the right directory? And what would happen if I don't put them in the home directory? – snooper May 24 '11 at 3:01
Well, they don't need to be in the home directory per se, but really, as long as you can build them as a normal user that's fine. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 24 '11 at 3:04
Would /usr/src be another option? – snooper May 24 '11 at 3:09

Yes so just following the instructions in the INSTALL file: ./configure, make, make install; works fine. It gets installed by default into /usr/local/share

I prefer to extract it to the home folder just in case the tar is needed again in the future.

share|improve this answer

The classic method to use when building from source is:

  1. Extract the package to a working directory (/tmp is an easy default choice)

    tar -xzf package-src.tgz -C /tmp/
  2. Change to the extracted directory:

    cd /tmp/package-src
  3. Configure the makefile as needed for your platform/environment (setting the base dir to /usr/local as well is a good idea):

  4. Compile the app, run the makefile's tests and finally install the finalized files using chained commands:

    make && make test && sudo make install
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.