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See the question - if I want to build the latest version of an app from the source, am I doomed to checking for updates manually? Is there a better way to do this?

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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Just set up a source management system and a cron job to periodically download the latest changes.

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Had the same answer. –  Dykam Jul 16 '09 at 16:09
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If you are willing to invest some time into this, Gentoo prefix would help you.

Gentoo prefix is a chrooted installation of Gentoo (a source based Linux distribution). It installs all packages into a specified directory. No root access required. If you want to get rid of it, just remove the base directory.

So, basically you are stuck with what's available at gentoo package repositories(overlays). But with some effory you can create a `live' gentoo package(ebuild) for the program, and update it with a single command.

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If the project has a public sourcecode repository, that would be one option. The biggest drawback here is that you may be stuck tracking the cutting-edge version of the project, which may not be desirable on a production system (of course this depends how they structure their repository).

Another alternative is to use a package management system which supports source code packages. FreeBSD's ports system is great at this, and there are many other alternatives out there for Linux and other *nix-based systems.

I'm not aware of any similar solutions for Windows, but generally most Windows users don't compile their own source code.

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If you want to manage updates automatically should stick with repos for your package management system.

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Many of which will allow you to build package from source if you want. This is Gentoo's big selling point, and you can do it on Debian too. Not linux, but on Macs fink also supports this. –  dmckee Jul 16 '09 at 23:55
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