How To Install Tar.gz & Tar.bz2 Packages on Linux

In Linux, it is normal to find applications that are in .deb or .rpm packages, but there are cases in which applications are compressed in tar.gz or tar.bz2.

These two formats not only tare the application inside, they usually also bring with them the instructions to install them.

Steps To Install .tar.gz & .tar.bz2

In any of the two formats, the installation of this type of packages is the same.

The first step is to enter the folder where we have the tar.gz or tar.bz2 packages. If the folder has several words we have to put them with “” or if it will not look for folders with each word:

cd folderwherefileis
cd “folder where file is”

Once we are in the folder, we will have to decompress the package; this is simple from the terminal, we write the following:

tar -zxvf filename.tar.gz

tar -jxvf filename.tar.bz2

The next step is to configure it, we write:


Now we run the make command (compile)


Now we run the make install command

make install

You have to take into account the command ./configure can give us an error if the package is already compiled, in that case, we omit those steps we can execute it directly from the terminal by writing the name of the package without further:


Or we can create a launcher.

Those are the steps to install tar.gz and tar.bz2 packages in Linux.

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  1. These instructions are pretty useless to someone just starting out with Linux command line. If you have the knowledge required to use these cryptic instructions, then you dont need these instructions.

  2. I think the linux communities are sadists who cant imagine non-developers using a software without learning the software. All people need is a more economical alternative to windows which is identical to windows with added security.

  3. I’ve recently downloaded an archive (Tar.bz2) copy of Mozilla Thunderbird (Version 45 – only available in Tar.bz2 format) and unpacked same. However, was unable to use commands:
    Make install
    As the program was pre-configured, I.e. once unpacked, one was able to run same directly from the directory, however this is not what I want

    With reference to the statement “Or we can create a launcher.” – yes – how exactly?? Can we please complete these instructions so as the the phrase INSTALL actually makes sense??

  4. I can never understand why primitive command line is still pushed to casual users. If the instructions are all laid out for copy and paste, that’s great, except that a Graphical user interface would be a lot easier and faster. Ease of use. Automated. — Things a computer should be able to do as their primary function. Not all users are coders.

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