GNU Source Installer

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Table of Contents

Introduction to GNU Source Installer

This web page is about GNU Source Installer (sourceinstall), a source package installer and manager for Unix-likes which provides configuration, compilation, installation, tracking and removal of source packages. It offers both a command line and a graphical interface, and works best with packages prepared by the developers using a recent version of the autotools.

For an experienced user, this sofware provides a way to centralize source installation, keep track of already installed packages and their relevant files, check installations for consistency, export and reuse installation information and have enhanced uninstallation.

For the novice but interested user, this software also offers a way to gain confidence with the command line (yes really), the file system, the traditional Unix commands, and of course with common source configuration and installation procedures and options.

The software is targeted at Unix-like systems, and should work on most of them, with GNU/Linux as the primary target. Please report any portability problem you should encounter.

After completing installation of `sourceinstall' itself, the install procedure becomes:

There is also a detailed article about GNU Source Installer. Note however that the article address a somewhat old version of the software.

Downloading GNU Source Installer

You can find GNU Source Installer on [via http] [via FTP].

cvs co sourceinstall [via anonymous CVS].

It can also be found on one of our FTP mirrors. You will find the package available in two flavours: the normal .tar.gz sourceinstall package, and an alternative, behemot, interactive, self-extracting sourceinstall-fullpack installer, that contains all major dependencies (Tcl, Tk and Expect), which are built if needed. Refer to the available manual for the installation instructions.


GNU Source Installer manual, with full and detailed installation instructions can be found at

Assuming a working sourceinstall installation, you may also find more information about GNU Source Installer by running

  $ info sourceinstall

for the detailed manual or

  $ man sourceinstall

to look at the man page.

Mailing Lists

GNU Source Installer now has a single mailing list:

<> this is the place where users can ask for help, share their comments and primarily report any kind of bugs and misfeatures. For details on submitting a bug report, please see the section Report a Bug below.

To subscribe to any sourceinstall mailing list, please send an empty mail with a Subject: header line of just "subscribe" to the relevant -request list. For example, to subscribe yourself to the bug list, you would send mail to <> with no body and a Subject: header line of just "subscribe".

Please remember that development of GNU Source Installer is a volunteer effort, and you can also contribute to its development. For information about contributing to the GNU Project, please read How to help GNU.

Report a Bug

If you think you have found a bug in sourceinstall, then you should send as complete a report as possible to <>. See the manual for hints on how to properly report a bug.


GNU Source Installer is currently being maintained by Claudio Fontana <>.