Very commonly, programs that are distributed as source code are offered as compressed tar archives. When you have downloaded one of these, your first step is to copy it into a new directory somewhere and do either tar -zxvf or tar - jxvf to it. Then read the compilation and installation instructions (if you are lucky, the three commands ./configure followed by make followed by make install will do what you need).
If you have a tar archive from which you need just a single file, you can do this:
[email protected]:~/temp> tar -xf directory.tar directory/afile
If directory does not exist, it will be created with just the named file or files inside it. If you need to do this kind of task, Konqueror's ability to read inside archives is useful to remember; this is one area where the graphical tools can be a great help.
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