Developers on Unix or Unix-like Operating Systems, like Linux, typically build and install software packages with the make system. First you issue the command ‘make’ to build the package, then issue ‘make install’. Sadly this often means you end up polluting your system with the parts of that package, as often the maintainers don’t provide an uninstall target.
Fortunately for us, there’s a solution to this problem, and that is a little tool called ‘checkinstall’:
Basically it builds the install target in the Makefile ( which copies the files to the system ), packages the files, and install the package, so if you no longer want the files on your system, instead of having to look around for it’s parts and manually cleaning up, you can just remove the package. It also support the Debian, Red Hat and Slackware types of packages.
Isn’t it wonderful?
A word of warning:
Checkinstall strips the binaries by default, so when packaging debug binaries, the user should explicitly specify that they DON’T want them stripped! Keep that in mind!