I am seeing a lot of questions recently where people are seeking assistance with installing software - usually compiling from source, or installing an RPM.

In my opinion these questions should be closed as too localised, or possibly moved to Unix & Linux. However, perhaps we should have a canonical question on this that will help new sysadmins develop their skills.

Something that advises professionals why they should use a package management tool in most cases, dealing with different repos, and examples of when using an RPM or compiling from source is the best option.

Any guidance on how such a question should be worded and how I can encourage people to provide canonical answer rather than voting to close it?

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Title: Can you help me with dependency or other compile errors on Linux?


This is a Canonical Question about Compile Dependencies and Package Management.

I have a question regarding compiling ports/software for Linux. Can the Server Fault community please help with the following:

  • What dependencies are necessary for source to compile?
  • I got this error while compiling the source for a package; halp!
  • What Repositories should I use with this package system?
  • Why is it important to use packages rather than building from source?

Maybe some additional links to setting up your own repo, methodologies for local repo management, configuration management topics (isn't there a canonical for that too already?), possibly deployment (I think there's a canonical for that too), local sources of caffeination, and anything else that might be directly related or relevant.


As long as you set the Question up clearly as a Canonical close-target you should be fine. I'll be the first person to upvote it if you provide the outline of the Answer as well. i strongly suspect quite a few people will be happy to chime in.

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