keeping source trees

Nelson Arzola narzola at
Tue Jun 6 12:17:29 PDT 2000

Mark Stone writes:

> I'm wondering how important it is to keep around the source trees for the
> various packages I've installed. The kernel source tree makes sense, since
> there are obviously other programs that make use of some of these header
> files. I also found while installing openssh that it looked for a header
> file from another package (I forget which one, off hand). But generally
> speaking, can these be deleted, or will they be needed?
> This is not an immediately pressing issue: I'm only using 784M on a 4 Gig
> hard drive at present. But once I get around to installing X, and other
> "hogs", disk space will become more of an issue.

I personally save all of the source archives that I use.  I also keep track
of exactly where I got the file.  It has happened too many times where I
wanted to recompile something (perhaps to change a setting) and found that I
could not download the same version I started with (try getting hold of Perl
4.036....).  Then I had to download the new version, figure out the
upgrade/migration path, and hope like hell that the features I needed were
not broken between the old and new versions.

One trick that I use, especially for software that uses the autoconf
(./configure) scripts is to save the compressed tar archive (I personnally
convert from gzip to bzip2) and the "" file.  I have not done it in
a while, but there is a way to use the "" and the compressed
archive to restore the configuration you had previously.  This allows you to
keep the source without wasting tons of disk space.  I found that the bzip2
compressed source files for LFS 2.3.3 take up about 50MB compressed with
bzip2 (this is for the basic system install -- no networking or X-windows).
They take up about 300 MB uncompressed with object (.o) files.

I am not sure what everyone else thinks, but this sounds like a good tip to
put in the LFS documents.  Just a little section that describes how to use
the "" file to restore your configuration and perhaps a one or two
liner to convert a directory of files from gzip to bzip2.

Nelson Arzola

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