I don't have internet access on my new Xenial VM, but I do have SFTP to a server which does. The issue is I need to install some packages. Getting them is fine, I just download them to my internet-connected server and transfer to the VM. My issue I've only seen tarballs installed with "Make". I have the Make package as a tarball, but without "Make" I don't know how to install it.

Edit: Specifically, the Tarball is make-dfsg_4.1.orig.tar.gz

Tl;dr - How can I install a tarball without using Make? I can do:
$tar -xf make-dfsg_4.1.orig.tar.gz
$cd make-dfsg_4.1
Not sure where to go from here.

Update: The README says:

If you need to build BNU Make and have no other 'make' progrma to use, you can use the shell script 'build.sh' instead. To do this, first run 'configure' as described in INSTALL. Then, instead of typing 'make' to build the program, type 'sh build.sh' This should compile the program in the current directory. Then you will have a Make program that you can use for './make install' or whatever else.

I don't understand what is meant by

first run 'configure' as described in INSTALL. Any insight?

  • 3
    If the software you are attempting to install is packaged as a tarball that you have to extract and build from source then you will need to have the tools and dependencies the developers of said software require to install it. If I understand your question correctly, you are attempting to install software from source? Do they package it as a .deb or as a snap? Please update your post with the specific tarball (what do you mean by this?) that you are having issues with.
    – kemotep
    Nov 13, 2018 at 14:38
  • 2
    It looks like that tarball came bundled with make for your convenience. Did the instructions in the README file mention how to install it with the bundled compiler?
    – Mio Rin
    Nov 13, 2018 at 14:50
  • Mioriin, thank you for the suggestion! Will update.
    – KuboMD
    Nov 13, 2018 at 14:59
  • 1
    Why are you trying to install from source, instead of installing Xenial packages? Nov 13, 2018 at 15:02
  • Respectfully Stephen, it would help me a lot if you could rephrase your question as a suggestion or statement. I'm not sure what you mean.
    – KuboMD
    Nov 13, 2018 at 15:03

1 Answer 1


The tarball you have is the upstream source for the Ubuntu (and Debian) make package. I highly recommend you install the binary package instead. You’ll find it here for Xenial: scroll down, click on the first “Release” package which matches your architecture (probably 4.1-6 for amd64), and download the .deb file in the “Downloadable files” section. Transfer that to your VM, and then run

sudo dpkg -i make_4.1-6_amd64.deb

from the same directory you stored it in.

make doesn’t have any dependencies apart from the C library, so this will work fine. For other packages, you can follow the same recipe, but you might run into dpkg errors caused by missing dependencies; in such circumstances you will need to find the missing packages, download them manually, transfer and install them, rinsing and repeating as necessary.

  • The problem is that gmake does not come with a boostrap procedure...you cannot compile it without having it already.
    – schily
    Nov 13, 2018 at 17:56
  • @schily yes you can, that’s the build.sh.in stuff. Nov 13, 2018 at 17:57
  • That must be new then....
    – schily
    Nov 13, 2018 at 17:58
  • @schily 1993 at least. Nov 13, 2018 at 18:00
  • Sure? IIRC, such a beast did not exist (or was not documented) 20 years ago when I created the boostrap compilation for smake.
    – schily
    Nov 13, 2018 at 18:02

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