The first time I touched Linux was while I was working on setting up my own Minecraft server. I downloaded a free distro called MineOS. It ended up being really awful, and I eventually moved Minecraft to a Windows server (lovingly named Blocky). However, I was surprised at how functional Linux was. I came from a purely Microsoft upbringing.
I bought a Linode VPS to mess around with, and it’s that same instance that this site is hosted on today. I didn’t know much about Linux when I got started, and so I made a lot of mistakes. Experience is the best teacher, and so through those mistakes, I’ve learned a lot. One of my biggest mistakes was blindly installing any package I wanted to, especially via source and ‘make install’.
The problem with managing stuff from ‘make install’ is that it can be hard to uninstall and you have to keep the source around in case you want to reinstall, etc. There’s a solution: CheckInstall. When you want to install from source, you still run configure and make, but instead of running ‘make install’, you just run ‘checkinstall’. It will pull all of its info from the source and create a Debian package and install that instead. Now you can easily install/uninstall stuff via aptitude, and stuff installed from source will show as installed in aptitude and meet all dependencies! Seriously awesome, seriously easy.