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Is it safe to remove the downloaded tar once the program is installed (once I run ./configure, make, make install)?

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marked as duplicate by Gilles, Ramesh, terdon Jun 26 '14 at 0:35

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, and no.

Removing source file won't affect installed binaries and other resources,

But you should keep them, in case you need to rebuild them. i.e when system libraries updated, it's likely for you to rebuild / re-link the binary

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So when you rebuild everything is overwritten? – saadtaame Mar 9 '13 at 13:27
@saadtaame yes you can override the installed binaries, provided the --prefix is the same value (Which controls the installation prefix) – warl0ck Mar 9 '13 at 13:49
If make uninstall is supported, that's another (minor) reason. Given the typical convoluted autoconf generated Makefile, it's not usually trivial to work out which bits you need for that. – mr.spuratic Mar 9 '13 at 14:25
asic-linux.com.mx/~izto/checkinstall is a useful tool for generating a package, allowing you to uninstall more easily at a later time. – Hennes Mar 10 '13 at 14:57

Also, sometimes packages install stuff in directories called by the version. It is wise to keep the sources around to be able to find out what was installed to clean up later.

But probably the best course of action is to create a proper package for your system, and install that. The package management system will then keep care of dependencies, and handle updates. Yes, creating the package means tracking down the dependencies and other data, but that is something that has to be done anyway sooner or later.

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