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Linux make install - where do things get installed?

Mark
Mark asked
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I have done and am again doing an update from tar.gz sources on Linux. This is the typical `./config`, `make`, `make install` scenario.

Sometime I need to back these installs out if things go awry. Before doing the `make install`, is there a way to know what will be installed where? Would `make --dry-run install` work or is there a more standard way?
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Top Expert 2007
Commented:
make --dry-run install

is the method I use.

Note that you can generally do

./configure --prefix=/preferred/install/path
Top Expert 2015

Commented:
--prefix defaults to /usr/local/
Typically you seek options to package into distribution package - spec file for rpmbuild, or run checkinstall for DPKG
That way you can upgrade packages later or get rid of them if needed.
For slow start I'd stick with a bit older packages of LTS/enterprise distributions.

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Commented:
Tintin:
make --dry-run install is the method I use.
That seemed to do the trick. There is no `make uninstall` on this package, so I will have to search through the install output to see what files were changed so I can later restore them if things go badly.
Note that you can generally do ./configure --prefix=/preferred/install/path
Have done that in the past, esp with Apache, but nowadays I really, really try to install to the default locations. Seems like I sometimes end with up adverse interaction from other dependent tools that have expectations of where things should be.

gheist: I'm installing from Slackware and they do have slackpkg, but I've tried using that twice before and it has hosed my system to an unusable state. I spent 2 hours last night restoring system directories. For example, I can do `slackpkg upgrade openssl`, but if it doesn't work correctly I don't see any option to "downgrade". Probably my slackpkg installed packages repository is hosed, but I don't know why, I just installed this system from scratch a few months ago. I did a `slackpkg upgrade-all` after the initial installation, which worked fine, but subsequent usages of slackpkg seem to mess things up badly. I think I'll just stick to my usual `./config ... make install` method. That's really never failed me. Perhaps on the next fresh installation ...
Top Expert 2015

Commented:
Why would you downgrade?

Author

Commented:
gheist"
Why would you downgrade?
In the context of my comment, if an installed "upgrade" didn't work satisfactorily, I'd want to uninstall it and restore the previous version. That's what I meant by "downgrade".

Otherwise, sometimes things just need to be downgraded 'cause the current version has issues, generally, not related to an "upgrade". For example, spamass-milter 0.4.0 did not work well with sendmail 8.14.9 whereas the older version 0.3.1 worked find. Another potential example is a problem I'm having with openssl 1.0.1i and TLS (which you have seen). Some recipients are rejecting TLS messages whereas the accepted them with version 0.9.8r -- maybe "downgrade"? We'll see.
Top Expert 2015

Commented:
Installing distribution packages you have assurance that they at least worked for their packager once before you. For own builds you are pretty much on your own.