[nSLUG] New User Advise

Bill Davidson bdavidso at supercity.ns.ca
Tue May 10 13:38:05 ADT 2005


On Tue, 2005-10-05 at 10:57 -0300, robert wrote:
> But I'm sure you did't mean that I oughtn't expect to have a running
> printer for a year or two. 
> That said, what would you do in my shoes?

I think it was pretty clear that he thinks you should use your distro's
package management tools to install pre-compiled versions of the
software you need to print.  That is, "apt-get install hplip" etc.  You
mentioned earlier that you are running Debian sarge, and he rightly
points out that all the packages you need, including hplip, are
available as part of that distribution.

That said, while I think his advice is sound, I don't agree with his
statement that running "make" and "configure" is just for developers.
Not so long ago compiling from source was considered the normal way of
installing software on Unix and Unix-like systems, and there is nothing
particularly difficult about it.  Of course, it helps to be a bit
familiar with "make" and autoconf and your compiler, but that's not
strictly necessary.  It *is* important to pay attention.  For example,
when "./configure" failed it would have said so on the screen and
directed you to config.log to find out why.  There also would have been
a little more info indicating that a required package or library was not

It certainly makes sense to use your package manager to install binary
packages that you need, but someday you just might want or need a
package that even Debian doesn't have a binary for, and you will want to
compile it.  So having some familiarity with compiling packages from
source is a Good Thing.

Bill Davidson
bdavidso at supercity.ns.ca


More information about the nSLUG mailing list