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Let's take Ettercap (Can be any software) and configure it:

sudo -c "./configure --prefix=/usr/local/ettercap"

An error arises:

checking for libpcap... no

Is Libpcap missing ? NO ! Ettercap wants the "devel" package, not only for libpcap but for all dependencies.

Let's use yum:

yum install ettercap

Success ! Yum doesn't require "devel" packages, why ?

Thanks.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Because when you take the source to compile and install software, you will need, among other things, header files for the libraries used, and those are in the devel packages.

If you use a distro package on the other hand, the software is already compiled and doesn't need the headers anymore, just the binaries for the libraries. These dependencies then get installed automatically.

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