I am using the Ubuntu 10.04 OS.
For my work I have had to install many open source numerical software on my laptop. Going about "compiling", "building" and "linking" libraries, editing .bashrc files, etc during installation phase is giving me nightmares.
I know the manuals of the required software is the best place to understand how to install it, but often i come across extremely poor documentation.
Since I am pretty much a newbie to Linux, can anyone suggest some resources/books/websites which give me general guidelines on how to go about doing the above. This would help me understand exactly what goes on during the installation phase. My days of fumbling in the dark would be over.