Currently I have the standard Emacs installation, 2.3.1, from Ubuntu repo, but would like to get a newer version of Emacs from GNU website, which is 2.3.4. My question is that do I need to wipe out my current installation completely and build it from scratch or I can just run the build script from the 2.3.4 and overwrite those file if found identical? Also, a general question, if I install third party software other than those from Ubuntu repo, most of them don't have any uninstall scripts, how do I get rid of those cleanly? Thanks a ton
Yes, you would want to uninstall emacs before installing it from source.
That should do the trick.
If they do not provide an uninstall script (usually made when you do a make/make install) in the source folder, you are pretty much out of luck for uninstalling cleanly, unless you can figure out what all it installed and where.
I looked and couldn't find a current emacs repository, which makes install/uninstall much safer. In general, don't install outside of repos (or at the very least .debs), unless it is something you really need, just because it can be so messy.
For a newbie like me, this threw me for awhile, because I knew I had to
What was actually needed for me was: