Manual Installs - General Practices


Oct 25, 2004
Generally speaking - how do you guys handle programs that aren't in a repository or handled by a package manager? You get everything you need, follow the directions, get it all working just ducky - and then at some point in the future you update your system and your manual install breaks.

Clearly I'm still new to this... I'm good enough to get it working, not clever enough to figure out how to maintain things over time.
Who's flavor of which OS are you curious about?

Then, what programs are you not finding?
MakeMKV for openSUSE 13.2 was what triggered the thought. But generally speaking - you all must have to do it once and a while - no? And if so, how do you manage through updates?

Note this is just me screwing around and trying to learn - it's not an issue...
There is a PPA for makeMKV so that shouldn't be a problem.

I only play with openSUSE occasionally, 13.2 is not out on the bleeding edge. Their stable platform is well maintained so not going to break all that often. BUT it will eventually break something and you will learn how fix it. You do not have to constantly take all the updates offered, I mainly do the security updates unless there is a hardware fix I'm looking for (GPU mostly).
Gotcha. The point being that if I go ahead with a tarball and do whatever - sooner or later, I can expect it to break somewhere, somehow. And I'll just have to figure it out when it happens - there's no sexy way to manage this on my own that I'm missing. (other than, you know, using the repositories ;) )
I use a lot of different applications in several different flavors of Linux and I almost never have to "manually install", there are times when you have to go to the console to make certain programs work or keep working and the forum can be your friend then. The openSuse forum users are a pretty good bunch.
To be fair I have been beta testing operating systems and applications since the 1980's and some of my current installs are bleeding edge "nightlies" which will break and often.

With openSUSE 13.2 I would be surprised if you could not find every program you need.

If you just want to learn then roll your on with ArchLinux, you can make it do whatever you want (just don't ask noob questions in their forum).
I did actually roll an Arch box and managed to keep it going for about a year before it finally got away from me. There was a lot of compiling and packaging and editing of text files. I loved every minute of it, even though I kind of sucked at it. Oh well ;)

Mint, Ubuntu, and openSUSE are much easier to use. Although I'm not sure I'm learning as much or as fast as I was with Arch. Just trying to figure how it's all done... I still haven't broken free of my Windows crutch...
Sometimes I'll install things from tar balls or installers like NetBeans, Eclipse, etc. Fortunately I haven't yet had any breakage from system updates though.