I keep seeing people saying make; make install is bad. I can't seem to find anyone with a reasonable explanation.

So, why is it bad? Or why do people tend to say "It's bad, use clear install instead" or similar?

  • clean install not clear install but I see that stmt in relation to a re-install of Ubuntu not in case of installing a package. Are you not mixing things up? – Rinzwind Mar 5 '13 at 11:19
  • Could be. My apologies in that case. – Frederik Spang Mar 5 '13 at 11:45

./configure; make; make install is bad because it is difficult to undo unless:

  • the developer provided an uninstall target, or
  • you provided a prefix to configure, so all the installed files are tucked away in a neat corner of the filesystem.

One should use checkinstall instead. Install it:

sudo apt-get install checkinstall

And then use checkinstall instead of make install:


(With appropriate usage of sudo.) And then you can use the package system to remove it:

sudo dpkg -r <name-of-package>
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You need make and make install to compile a software.

For the daily use it is better to run apt-get install to install a pre-compiles package. It's easier to use and ist easier to uninstall or check the version, etc. I think this is what people mean with "clear install", but I'm not sure.

But sometimes you need to install a software and there is no pre-compiled package in the repository or a installer for the package. In this case you will have to use configure, make and make install.

This is why I wouldn't say "it's bad". It is not the best way to install for dayly use, but sometimes it is just necessary.

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It is not bad by any stretch of imagination if your goal is to build software from sources. Some cases when this is necessary are:

  • you are a developer that builds software

  • you want to test some software that is not available as an ubuntu package or a new version of software that is not available yet

However, outside of these cases, it is recommended to use apt-get install (or dpkg -i), because chances are that this way you will get a more stable, tested version of the software that you want to install.

Building from source also has the risk that you might mess up your ubuntu system if you do not really understand well the piece of software that you are making.

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