Re: Compiling vs pre-compiled packages

On Sat, 10 Apr 1999, fardoche wrote:
> If I got both GNOME pre-compiled packages for my platform and I
> can also compile the sources without too much problem, wich is the best?

Assuming that things are set up right on your system, the precompiled
binary packages should be quicker to install and get running, but
compiling from source can get you faster binaries, better support for
unusual configurations, and more control over the system. 

If your processor is different than the one used to compile the binaries,
compiling it yourself will allow the binaries to be optimized for YOUR
system, not theirs.  One of my machines has an old AMD 5x86 processor, 
while most binaries are optimized for Pentium systems.  Let me tell you,
Pentium binaries run absurdly slowly on an AMD 5x86.

The Red Hat binaries are also compiled with sound support, while one of my
machines has no sound card.  Issues like this are avoided by compiling.
Also, the binaries put GNOME in /usr, while I prefer it in /opt/gnome; by
compiling, I can put GNOME where I want it to go.

> I mean, if I compile myselft GNOME for my machine, will it run faster
> and be more stable, or it is kind of a waste of time when you can have
> the latest GNOME packages for your platform?

The binaries won't necessarily be more stable than the corresponding
tarballs, but when a newer, more stable tarball comes out, it can be days
to weeks before you get a binary package for it.  If you compile from
source, you can have the updates that day.

Compiling from source is slower, harder, takes up more disk space, and
requires more knowledge of the system, so it's not for everyone.  It does
have definate advantages that can make it worth the effort.

Best of Luck,

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