The question: I installed a program by getting its source code, and then running `sudo make install`; how to make `apt-get` know about it?

The edit that was removed: (revision history here)

Edit for posterity:

As the top answer suggests, checkinstall should be used whenever possible instead of make install. checkinstall is really nifty, since it follows what the make install command would do, in order to figure out how to build a package.

This means that if you install a program using make install, but then want to repent for your sins, all you have to do is sudo checkinstall -D make install, and that command will:

  1. follow make install to figure out what it does

  2. copy-cat make install, except in *.deb package form

  3. install from the package (exactly as make install would have, given point 1)) except also let apt-get know about it, and thus overwrite all the files exactly where make install would have put them as long as you choose YES to include the files put by make install in the home directory in the package as well -- a couple of options during the checkinstall process will let you choose (obviously though, the choice is there so you can exercise it on a case-to-case basis)

Bonus: you can also remove a package (call it progA again) installed using make install that odes not have make uninstall support by following the checkinstall process outlined so far, and then simply doing:

dpkg -r progA

As far as I can see, there are no reasons given as to why the edit was made, and...to be honest, the edit is kind of a big deal to me, since I feel like I learned something important (I have faced problems with vanilla make install more than once before, and MOST instructions for building from source talk about using make install, NOT checkinstall).

I am trying not to be annoyed (but this is irritating just because it's erasing effort I have put in for my own sake), so can someone help me figure out what's going on?

  • 4
    to my knowledge, the edit by @Braiam is a proper edit. You are including the stuff to question which is well suited as answer IMHO
    – Ravan
    Dec 4, 2015 at 5:22
  • 1
    I can suggest: If you want to keep your effort alive, edit an answer (accepted one) and add :)
    – Ravan
    Dec 4, 2015 at 5:26

2 Answers 2


I've been in your situation a few times. Somebody posts an answer and it either doesn't quite have enough detail for practical use, or I'm doing something whacky that they haven't accounted for. We have two options in situations like this:

  1. Editing the original answer. Few people will mind if you improve their answer if you don't deviate too far. Adding extra details and examples are perfect edits.

  2. If you need to significantly add, or deviate from the existing tone of an answer, you can reference it but write your own full answer.

In this scenario, either of those is a valid option. I'm sure A.B. wouldn't have minded you making his answer better just as I'm sure he wouldn't mind you posting a detailed answer of your own.

The edit was rejected for adding answer material in the question. Keep them separate.


This site is about asking questions and receiving answers;

Each of the two have their own space to live in; there should be no question containing an answer nor an answer containing a question.

That's why Braiam removed your edit; your edit put informations deserveful to be contained in an answer in the question. That's not good because both the question and the answers need to be voted on, expecially the answers, because the top answers are going to be shown first. Therefore questions and answers need to be kept separate.

That doesn't mean that the effort you put in writing that edit is gone though; the revision history still contains it and you're free to answer your own question to add those details to the topic; quoting the Help Center:

Can I answer my own question?

Yes! Stack Exchange has always explicitly encouraged users to answer their own questions. [...] you may go back and add an answer to your own question at any time.

Just copy-paste your edit into an answer. No one will mind about an answer that adds those details to the already existing answers; alternatively, you can add those details to one of the existing answers by editing it.

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