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Chapter 14. Command-Line Software Instal... > Troubleshooting Software Installs, a...

Troubleshooting Software Installs, and Compiling and Debugging Manually

Sometimes when you try to compile and install a program, it won't work as easily as the examples at the beginning of this chapter. Sometimes it's a matter of the program not being tweaked to run properly on Mac OS X. Sometimes the program is just poorly written. Most often, however, it's because the vast majority of software written for Unix is in a constant state of revision, and minor bugs are introduced, squashed, and often re-created again in some other subroutine, on a regular basis. If you're in no hurry to use the software, don't worry that it doesn't compile. As long as you've obeyed the mantra Never compile or install software as a user with a privileged account, the attempt to compile and run it has done nothing more than occupy some disk space and cause a little frustration. Write to the program's author, let him or her know that something's not right, and it will probably be fixed in a reasonable amount of time.

If you're in a hurry, or are either inquisitive or stubborn, there are some things that you can try to get the software working. A few of these involve updating certain parameters in your environment, and one involves rolling up your sleeves and digging around in the program's guts. If the latter is something you've never imagined doing, don't worry—it's your choice! Just remember that as long as you're working in a nonprivileged account, you can't really do much damage—the software is already broken; you can't hurt the system. The worst that will happen is you don't improve anything.


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