Many of the differences between Mac OS X and
other versions of
become apparent when you try to build Unix-based software on Mac OS
X. Most open source Unix software uses GNU
autoconf or a
similar facility, which generates a
performs a number of tests of the system—especially of the
installed Xcode Tools—and finishes by constructing one or more
makefiles. After the
configure script has done
its job, you run the
make command to first
compile, and, if all goes well, install the resulting binaries.
tarballs will include a
configure script, so you do not need to generate
it yourself. However, if you retrieve
autoconf-managed source code from a CVS archive,
you will have to run
autoconf.sh manually to
In most cases, it’s pretty easy to compile a Unix application on Mac OS X. After unpacking the tarball and changing to the top-level source code directory, just issue the following three commands to compile the application:
./configure make make install
Mac OS X web browsers are configured to invoke StuffIt Expander on compressed archives. So, if you click on a link to a tarball, you may find that it gets downloaded to your desktop and extracted there. If you’d prefer to manage the download and extraction process yourself, Control-click (or right-click) on the link so you can specify a download location.
Also, because the Mac OS X HFS+ filesystem is case-insensitive, watch out for tarballs ...