G-Cows can be downloaded in different formats:
- an RPM package for Fedora Core 4 Linux;
- an RPM package for Fedora Core 5 Linux;
- an RPM package for SUSE Linux 10.0;
- a FreeBSD package;
- a "source tarball" compilable on generic Unix and Linux systems.
Programs are written in a human readable form (source) and then translated in a machine readable form (compiled). The packages contain the already compiled executables (for Fedora Core Linux, Suse Linux and FreeBSD respectively) while the source tarball contains the original sources and must be compiled.
Linux and FreeBSD packages
Packages contains the already compiled executables. They can be easily installed on Fedora Core 4, Fedora Core 5, SUSE Linux 10.0 and FreeBSD. For other distributions/systems you have to download the source tarball and compile G-Cows on your own (RPM packages could possibly work on other Linux distributions which use this standard like Red Hat and Mandriva)
Packages must be installed as root so if you can't do that, you must use the source tarball, which gives you a higher control on installation and allow an installation without root privileges.
The source tarball contains all the source files needed to compile G-Cows on your machine. You only need to download the file and follow the installation instructions reported in the download page. However, in order to compile G-Cows you need some development tool installed on your system:
- a C++ compiler (gcc);
- an implementation of the STL (Standard Template Library);
- the Make utility;
- Flex, a lex-compatible scanner generator;
- Bison, a yacc-compatible parser generator.
If you don't have these development tools installed on your system (and you don't want to install them) you'll probably prefer the compiled RPM package.