How to install Sweep without the source code

Q I want to try Sweep. I'm running Ubuntu (Breezy Badger) and all the help files just talk about the repositories. Having just a CD-ROM drive and no internet, I want to download from magazine coverdiscs, but it isn't obvious what to do! I pulled the files off the CD, unpacked the tarballs into a folder in my home directory, and just ended up with a pile of files and no idea what to do with them! Please make it easy so I can use your cover CDs!

A Software repositories are the easiest way to install packages on most distros, provided your distro's repository contains the package you want and you have internet access. However, they're not the only way to go - you can also build the package from source code. After all, that's what the repository maintainers do. The files you see after unpacking the Sweep archive are its source code. Compiling most software from source is not particularly difficult and requires no programming skills, just a little care. Open a terminal and move to the directory that contains the source code, then run configure, which checks that your system has everything it needs to compile the source code

cd sweep-0.9.1

If configure fails, it means that something is missing, which you can identify from the error message. Install, and try again. With a default Ubuntu installation, the first failure will be that a C compiler is not present, so fire up Synaptic from the System menu, click on Search, type in 'build-essential', select it from the search results and click Apply. Then run /configure again to see what else may be needed. Once ./configure runs without error, run these two commands to compile and install the software:

sudo make install

Sometimes, ./configure may give an error about a package not being installed when it is. In this case you need to install the corresponding devel package, which contains information needed when compiling software. Some of the required software can be found in the dependencies directory on the DVD. Unfortunately, it appears that in this case, not everything you need in the way of -devel packages is included on the Ubuntu CD. If you have no internet connection, you would be better off with a distro that comes on several CDs, or a DVD, where there is space to include much more, including many more devel packages. SUSE 10.1 on this month's DVD would be a good choice.

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