Updating Programs

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Updating Programs

Postby Azati Prime on Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:48 pm

I prefer getting updates to programs as they come out rather than waiting for them to appear in the repositories. Is it possible to update my programs from source code rather than finding someone's repo with the updated program?
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Re: Updating Programs

Postby nebcanuck on Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:07 pm

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CompilingEasyHowTo

Check out that link. I've used its instructions, and you can get most of the way there following what they have to offer. Compiling is challenging and a bit time-consuming, but it's fun and once you do it, you gain pretty much complete control of your program list, although it's always with a word of caution: Source code from unverified sources could potentially harm your computer!

The only tip I'd have is that almost always, when a program is saying "dependency missing", then they mean "dependencyname-dev" rather than the dependency itself. So, for example, if I try to compile VLC, it may say that gstreamer-plugins-good is missing, even if you have it on your computer. That's because you need gstreamer-plugins-good-dev to do the compiling.

Unfortunately, because of the different developers behind each individual project, sometimes the name game isn't quite that easy, and you'll find they ask for a package that's not in the repository. Often it's because it's under a different name, so you have to do searches for the different names and hopefully after installing different -dev packages that relate to the program, you'll get there.

Once you get the hang of it, it's not too much trouble. But the first couple of times, it can be tempting to give up because it's finicky to find the right dependencies for some programs (VLC being a great example -- it does so much you need to install half the flipping repository to compile it!)

Good luck!
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Re: Updating Programs

Postby Azati Prime on Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:12 pm

Does this work for programs that are already installed using a repository or do you have to remove the program and then compile it?
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Re: Updating Programs

Postby optimize me on Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:52 pm

Azati Prime wrote:Does this work for programs that are already installed using a repository or do you have to remove the program and then compile it?

It's always safe to remove the older version to ensure there are no conflicts, especially with the dependencies, but it's not always necessary. I would advise you to remove the old versions until you get more experienced at compiling your own apps, checking version numbers, and pulling in dependencies. Besides, if a program is so out-of-date that you feel like you need to compile the latest and greatest version, why would you leave the old one laying around?

Remember - when you start compiling programs, you become the package manager.

As a side note, many programs from MintInstall and the Ubuntu Repos have their own development PPAs where the latest developers versions can be installed automatically from Synaptic or the CLI. (Pidgin, VLC, OpenOffice, and Avant Window Navigator are just a few examples.This site is good for finding PPAs - http://ppa-search.appspot.com/ )
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Re: Updating Programs

Postby nebcanuck on Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:30 pm

It's worth noting in order to assuage any doubts that by removing a package in synaptic, you don't lose any of your configuration files. So if you compile Pidgin, you keep all your accounts even if you have to remove the old package first.
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