Re: RFC: don't ask users to do 'sudo make install'

Subject: Re: RFC: don't ask users to do 'sudo make install'

Date: Wed, 07 Dec 2011 15:37:12 +0200

To: Justus Winter,


From: Tomi Ollila

On Wed, 07 Dec 2011 13:25:45 +0100, Justus Winter <> wrote:
> Hey everyone,
> I just noticed that running configure says:
> > All required packages were found. You may now run the following
> > commands to compile and install notmuch:
> >
> >        make
> >        sudo make install
> I think that this is a very poor advice in general and we shouldn't
> give it to users. I know that the default prefix is /usr/local, but
> installing notmuch this way makes it very hard to uninstall it later
> (there is no uninstall target).

Too bad there is no better 'default' way to do things -- 
configure - make - make install is the way most software provides
their installation sequence.

But where does 'sudo make install' work by default? on Ubuntu, on
new Fedoras. Where else ?

The 'uninstall target' is also hard problem as it would require configured
source directory (and possibly information gathered during installation
to know what to uninstall) -- To do a separate uninstallation too that is
installed during notmuch installation would be something I don't remember
seeing done in unix environments ever...

> If someone decides to install notmuch from source and later on using
> his or her favorite package manager, the once installed notmuch in
> /usr/local will still be found and before the one in /usr and thus be
> preferred.

Hmm, I've screwed my PATH setting as there usr/local/* comes after /usr/* ;/

> Maybe we should mention stow (

Hmm, in addition to mentioning it there should be step-by-step
information how to proceed with it to compile and install notmuch
(and all the prerequisities required) using stow. That should not
be too hard -- just log the installation steps. Maybe SomeBody(TM)
takes some effort there ?

> Justus