Last updated on November 6, 2020 by Dan Nanni
make install? That way, I could uninstall the program easily later if I want to.
If you have installed a Linux program from its source by running
make install, it becomes really tricky to remove it completely, unless the author of the program provides an
uninstall target in the Makefile. You will have to compare the complete list of files in your system before and after installing the program from source, and manually remove all the files that were added during the installation.
That is when
CheckInstall can come in handy. CheckInstall keeps track of all the files created or modified by an install command line (e.g.,
make install_modules, etc.), and builds a standard binary package, giving you the ability to install or uninstall it with your distribution's standard package management system (e.g.,
yum for CentOS/RHEL or
apt-get for Ubuntu/Debian). It has been also known to work with Slackware, SuSe, Mandrake and Gentoo as well, as per the official documentation.
In this post, I will only focus on Red Hat and Debian based distributions, and show how to build a RPM or DEB package from the source using CheckInstall.
To install CheckInstall on Ubuntu and other Debian derivatives:
# aptitude install checkinstall
To install CheckInstall on Red Hat-based distributions such as CentOS, you will need to download a pre-built RPM file of CheckInstall (e.g., searchable from http://rpm.pbone.net), as it has been removed from the Repoforge repository. The RPM package for CentOS 6 works in CentOS 7 as well.
# wget ftp://ftp.pbone.net/mirror/ftp5.gwdg.de/pub/opensuse/repositories/home:/ikoinoba/CentOS_CentOS-6/x86_64/checkinstall-1.6.2-3.el6.1.x86_64.rpm # yum install checkinstall-1.6.2-3.el6.1.x86_64.rpm
Once CheckInstall is installed, you can use the following command to build a package for particular software.
# checkinstall <install-command>
install-command argument, the default install command
make install will be used.
In this example, I will build a package for
htop, an interactive text-mode process viewer for Linux (like
top on steroids).
First, let's download the source code from the official website of the project. As a best practice, we will store the tarball in
/usr/local/src, and untar it.
# cd /usr/local/src # wget http://hisham.hm/htop/releases/1.0.3/htop-1.0.3.tar.gz # tar xzf htop-1.0.3.tar.gz # cd htop-1.0.3
Let's find out the install command for
htop, so that we can invoke CheckInstall with
checkinstall command. As shown below,
htop is installed with
make install command.
# ./configure # make install
Therefore, to build a
htop package, we can run
checkinstall command without any argument, which will then use
make install command to build a package. Along the process, the
checkinstall command will ask you a series of questions.
In short, here are the commands to build a package for
# ./configure # checkinstall
y to "Should I create a default set of package docs?":
You can enter a brief description of the package, then press Enter twice:
Enter a number to modify any of the following values or Enter to proceed:
Then CheckInstall will create a .rpm or a .deb package automatically, depending on what your Linux system is:
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