How to create a .tar.gz file to install a custom application

by David   Last Updated April 02, 2018 15:02 PM

I have written a simple program, and I made a .deb file to install it on Debian based OSs. but for other distros like Arch, I usually use a .tar.gz file (and doing :./configure, make and make install), How to make that .tar.gz file for my program ??

I can write a bash script (for example like configure) to copy my files to /usr/bin/ , /usr/share/man and /usr/share/doc. so I can install my application simply by executing that script(./configure). but how do other .tar.gz files(applications) need to run make and make install to install ???

Answers 1

To generate the application distribution archive, developer uses some tools called GNU Autotools. This tools help you create the configure & Makefile which generates the distribution archive for you.


  1. Official site (autogen,autoconf, automake)
  2. Quick Tutorial

After making the correct setup, you should be able to generate the archive using:

make dist


  • These tools were developed primarily for use with c/c++ projects. Look for corresponding tool to use with other languages.
  • There are also alternatives, example for c/c++ cmake.
  • A correct workflow, start with generic source package tar.gz then distribution specific packages like deb.
April 02, 2018 14:45 PM

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