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Is there an easy way to install the latest gnuplot on Debian stable without backports? Ideally as a local self-consistent installation that would not interfere with the rest of the system. Is it sufficient to:

./configure --prefix=~/.local

to have it installed into ~/.local/gnuplot? Are there any dependency issues to expect?

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Using --prefix=~/.local will install the program into ~/.local and subdirectories (~/.local/bin, ~/.local/share etc.); if you want it to go into ~/.local/gnuplot, you’ll have to specify --prefix=~/.local/gnuplot in full.

Apart from that, you shouldn’t run into dependency issues, all the required build-dependencies are available in Debian 9. apt build-dep gnuplot will install them for you (as defined in Debian 9, but the gnuplot build-dependencies defined there are sufficient for the latest version too).

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