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This question has nothing to do with the pros and cons of compiling from source, it simply has to do with the single step of installing, example: make install or waf install.

The normal routine consists of:

  1. Download source files (normally a tarball file)
  2. Install dependencies (normally a bunch of libraries)
  3. Configure, build and either install or just run

Now after building the software, the build can be run or installed.

  • What are the pros and cons of installing the software after build rather than just running it after build?

  • After installing I realize that not desktop file is made for the software. Is this normal? Must I create a new desktop file every time?

  • Quick answer: never install from source unless you have no other choice. With very few exceptions (edge cases or working on strange architectures) installing from source is not worth the hassle. Just use the package from the repositories. – terdon Oct 8 '15 at 14:25
  • @terdon I do agree with you, however sometimes it's not available :( – Karl Morrison Oct 8 '15 at 15:08
  • Yes. That's about the only time when you need to install from source, that's what I mean. I had understood that your question was about the pros and cons of installing from source vs from a package. Now that you've clarified, I'll delete my comment. – terdon Oct 8 '15 at 15:16
  • make only build in the built directory, while make install will push whatever in the built directory to the system folder (this has to be specified in specs file i.e which file to which dir). – Aizuddin Zali Oct 8 '15 at 15:16
  • @terdon I apologize for the confusion :) – Karl Morrison Oct 8 '15 at 15:17
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Why should one install or not install the built software, what are the pros and cons of it?

Answer: Basically we built the software because of two conditions.
1. The software is not available from repository.
2. The need to use specific software version that is not also available from repository.

These two points can be the pro. The cons is that package management or software management will be harder. i.e Uninstall will take lot more time just to make sure all files are deleted.

After installing I realize that not desktop file is made for the software. Is this normal? Must I create a new desktop file every time?

Answer: Custom build software did not put anything on the desktop unless the install spec had instruction to do so. However, the desktop file should be build if its in the build package inside the build directory.

  • Updated my question. My question has nothing to do with compiling but the step of installing vs. running. Installing != compiling – Karl Morrison Oct 8 '15 at 15:13
  • Your answer on the desktop file is satifactory – Karl Morrison Oct 8 '15 at 15:13
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Pros and cons of building from source:

Pros:

  1. When installing from source you know what YOU are compiling and installing. There's no patch that breaks more things than it repairs...

  2. A lot of the bigger programs/utilities have different functionalities that may be enabled or disabled at compile time.

  3. If a program is compiled for use on a particular CPU - ARM/Intel - that your system doesn't have, you can recompile it to work with your system.

Cons:

  1. Some programs have exhausting compile dependencies ... It's easy to screw things up when compiling such programs.

  2. It takes time :)

  • I think you misunderstood my question. I know what the pros and cons of compiling software on my computer is. I want to know why for example ./waf install is needed? My question has nothing to do with building/compiling! – Karl Morrison Oct 8 '15 at 15:10
  • Updated question, hope I'm more clear now. – Karl Morrison Oct 8 '15 at 15:12

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