How to Install TAR.BZ2 in Linux

Written by quinn marshall
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Unlike Windows, Linux and its many distros do not have a single unified installation method. Some distros, such as Debian and Ubuntu, for example, use installation files called ".deb" files, which are similar to ".exe" files in Windows. Any Linux distro can compile a Linux program's source code, however, making it an ideal choice for programmers who wish to make their program universally available to all Linux users. Source code is compressed into an archive folder, such as a tar.bz2, which must be uncompressed and compiled.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open your distro's Terminal, which may be under "Applications" or "Tools," depending on which distribution you're using.

  2. 2

    Copy the tar.bz2 file to your desktop. Right-click on it and choose "Cut," and then right-click on your desktop and choose "Paste."

  3. 3

    Type "cd desktop/" to point the Terminal to your desktop directory.

  4. 4

    Type "tar jxf filename.tar.bz2" into the Terminal, then press "Enter." This will uncompress the tarball. Press the "Tab" button as you're typing the file's name and it will be automatically entered for you.

  5. 5

    Type "cd folder/" and then press enter. Replace "folder/" with the name of the folder that resulted from uncompressing the tar.bz2 file. For example, if "game.tar.bz2" produced a folder named "game," then type "cd game/" to point the Terminal to that directory.

  6. 6

    Type "./configure" and then press "Enter." This prompts your distro to verify that it has all the required prerequisites necessary to run the program.

  7. 7

    Type "make" and then press "Enter." This commands turns the code into an executable program.

  8. 8

    Type "make install" and then press "Enter." This step installs the executable files made in the previous step, as well as any prerequisites your computer identified as necessary.

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