Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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 ?


share|improve this question
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.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.