Install software from source on Linux platform is an extremely common task. I’ve typed those commands a lot, but I did not understand it very well before. After reading this article1 wrote by George, I gradually understand those magic incantation.
configure makes sure that the system environment is ready to build the software, such as standard libraries and components are in the right place,
make read commands from Makefile and compile the software,
make install also read commands from Makefile and install the software to specified directory.
configure step is aimed to produce Makefile from Makefile.in. At this step, user can define installation directory by
./configure --prefix=/mypath, especially when the user did not have root privilege. For more information, use
make step is aimed to use Makefile to build the software.
make install step is aimed to use Makefile to install the software.
Hope everyone goes well with software installation!