I need to install
libpng-dev locally on a system where I do not have
sudo access This is required to compile a C application. What is the best way to proceed with this? Can this be installed from source?
While it is far more convenient from the sysadmin (and often from the developer) point of view to install development libraries using the distribution packages, such is not essencial. Depending also on the application and language, there might be several alternative ways of doing it.
In this case, you can download the .tar.gz files from the project home at http://www.libpng.org/pub/png/libpng.html
Depending on the package, the make/configure files might or might not detect the library after you compile it.
The specific steps how to do it might be out-of-scope/topic here.