You do have a point in that last sentence.
Originally Posted by MacPenguin1972
You don't need to be a programmer to compile a program.
Generally speaking you need to know four commands that you would run in the terminal. (this could be used as a great learning experience)
The first thing you need to do is to get the source, which is usually in a tar.gz format. Let us take Seamonkey as an example (as Firefox seems to be all pre-configured for specific architectures. The source would be found here.
It comes packaged as a .tar.bz2, which is like a tar.gz. Download it into your downloads folder.
When it is finished, goto the area that you downloaded it and double click to extract it. It should be extracted into a seamonkey-2.2 folder. Then open terminal.
In terminal, use the command cd to goto the folder, so your command would be something along the lines of (replace the seamonkey-2.2 to whatever the you extracted the tar.bz2 to)
Which brings you into the directory where the seamonkey source is located.
These next commands may seem scary at first, but only the last one does anything that may be hard to undo to your system- that being installing seamoney. You'll see what I mean.
Time to compile the code. Make sure to reread this a few times before you do anything in order to have an understanding of what you are doing
First, you will need to make sure you have all of your tools. As it seems like you have never compiled anything before, you will need to install the developer tools required to install.
In the following code boxes, don't type anything in the parentheses. Those are comments telling you what the command is doing.
And that is all that is to it. Seamonkey should show up under applications, and if not just run the command "seamonkey &" in terminal
sudo apt-get install build-essential (Installs the developer tools. You will need to enter the password associated with your account)
(Wait for that to finish, make take some time depending on internet connection)
./configure (Makes sure you have all of the required dependancies to build seamonkey. If it says that it fails, google the step that it failed on, see if there is a package that you can install that will resolve it, then run the command again)
(It will look like a lot of scary code, but it is nothing to worry about.)
make (yes, a very simple command, and that is all of the hard work, which is compiling the actual program. Your CPU will be used a lot, and it may take some time to finish the process, so go grab a coffee.)(if this step fails, then post back here)
sudo make install
(this last command (make install) installs the program, and you will need to enter your password again)