Linux doesn't work? Just recompile.

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Just about any mailing list, forum, blog comment you read will inevitably have a comment regarding Linux in the form of something like "If it doesn't work then just recompile it." Of course there is the standard follow up by the other side of the fence who state that most "normal" users wouldn't be able to compile a program if their great grand aunt Fanny May's life depended on it.

While I personally think that compiling a program is ultimately a simple affair under the correct environment. It is, after all, just a three line command of "configure", "make" and "make install" for ninety nine percent of programs. There are even graphical interfaces to do this as I have previously written about. I do not believe that telling anyone to compile a program as a problem fix is the "right thing (tm)" to do.

For a start, if using a distribution with a package management system. Compiling programs will ultimately break that package system and you will be left with a dirty and problematic distribution.

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