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I have had 3 Ubuntu computers in my (relatively short) linux lifetime. On every single one, I have never been able to install from a tarball. I've looked everywhere, but there seems to always be a different answer depending on what you're trying to install, and not always one for what I'm working with. This time, I'm trying to install tor and hoping for a different result, but lo and behold I get:

bash: ./configure: No such file or directory.

I just want an end-all answer as to why on every single Ubuntu machine I've had, I can't configure/install from a tarball.

Edit: the tarball I was trying to install from is the 64 bit linux download from https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en#downloads , and the only readmes in there are explanations of meek, proxies, etc. Nothing about install. I figured out Tor specifically though by not using ./configure at all, so that's done.

But the main problem is that I have never successfully installed from a tar file. No matter what I try to install, when I get to the ./configure step, I get a bash message.

  • Is there a README or INSTALL document in the tarball? What does it say the procedure is? Not every tarball package uses ./configure in the compile process. Welcome to Ask Ubuntu. – chili555 Dec 26 '18 at 2:40
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    give us a specific tarball link, and you'll have a better answer – Alvin Liang Dec 26 '18 at 2:42
  • Sounds like there is no file named configure in the directory you're currently in... – Xen2050 Dec 26 '18 at 18:49
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    Possible duplicate of How to install Tor?. Tor Browser can be installed from Ubuntu Software app in Ubuntu 16.04 and later. – karel Dec 27 '18 at 17:27
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    The instructions on the page you mention (torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en#downloads) don't mention configure at all. Instead they say 1) Download the tarball, 2) unpack the tarball, 3) issue cd tor-browser_LANG, 4) issue ./start-tor-browser.desktop. There is nothing to configure or compile. The tarfile contains tor ready-to-run. Just scroll down to "Linux Instructions". Please read the instructions on the page you got that software from before running arbitrary commands and starting to wonder why they don't work. – PerlDuck Dec 27 '18 at 17:38
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Here are some reasons I can think of:

  1. the tarball doesn't contain source code

  2. the tarball contains source code, but it doesn't use the GNU autotools build system - perhaps it uses a simple Makefile, or uses a different build system such as cmake or scons

  3. the tarball is a source tarball that uses the GNU autotools build system, but it provides a lower-level configuration file such as configure.ac from which you must first build an appropriate configure script for your platform using autoconf

  4. the tarball is a source tarball, including a GNU autotools configure script, but you're attempting to execute it from the wrong directory

  • Good guesses. Correct is [1]. ;-) – PerlDuck Dec 27 '18 at 17:45

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