Quick Tip: Installing developer tools on Linux (Debian, RedHat)

There are times when you download a package from the Internet and want to install it but it turns out you have to compile it first, yeah, it's easy to just do the classic ./configure; make; sudo make install, but before you can do that, you need to install the compiler and other tools needed for the compilation or else you will get error messages on the first step and you will not be able to install the package.

Fortunately there are metapackages on Debian (and derivatives) and package groups in RedHat (and derivatives) that pack all the basic tools you'll need to compile that package you want (and many more), you just have to install them.

To install such packages, just head over to the console (you're not affraid of the console, are you? Of course not!) and type the following with root privileges (sudo works fine):

Debian-based

	user@computer: ~$ apt-get install build-essential

According to the file /usr/share/build-essential/list, these are the packages it installs:

  • libc6-dev [!alpha !ia64 !hurd-i386] | libc0.3-dev [hurd-i386] | libc6.1-dev [alpha ia64] | libc-dev
    Provides the ISO C standard library
    Indirectly depended on by g++, but we'll ignore
    it since libc6-dev is used for non-C++ programs too.

  • libc6-dev-sparc64 [sparc]
    Used only on the sparc architecture.

  • gcc (>= 4:4.4.3)

  • g++ (>= 4:4.4.3)

  • make
    Also depended on by dpkg-dev, but make does warrant its own
    dependency since debian/rules will need it even if dpkg-dev
    stopped depending on it

  • dpkg-dev (>= 1.13.5)
    Provides dpkg-genchanges and other scripts. Versioned, because
    of support for the build-time dependency fields in /debian/control
    and dpkg-architecture support for OS and CPU information.

  • hurd-dev [hurd-i386]
    Provides libpthread.so (and other such essential components).

RedHat-based

	user@computer: ~$ yum groupinstall 'Development Tools'

And this will install the following packages:

  • flex
  • gcc c/c++ compiler
  • redhat-rpm-config
  • strace
  • rpm-build
  • make
  • pkgconfig
  • gettext
  • automake
  • strace64
  • gdb
  • bison
  • libtool
  • autoconf
  • gcc-c++ compiler
  • binutils and all dependencies.

And that's it! Just head back to the directory where you unpacked your package and try ./configure; make; sudo make install again, just keep in mind that there are certain packages that require the installation of other tools, be sure to check the log out of ./configure and google how to install the missing dependencies.

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