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I am on a school computer (Ubuntu Lucid Lynx) and I would like to run some code that has dependencies on certain libraries. I would like to install those libraries into my user account using apt instead of having to compile them source, as I don't want to deal with dependency hell. Is this possible?

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Discuss you problem with the system administrator. Please read the FAQ. – John Gardeniers Nov 6 '10 at 1:14
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No, you cant use apt without root or superuser access.

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I was afraid of that after I read the man page. I don't see why not since if I can compile it from source the security implications are the same... <shakes head> Thank you. – ArtB Nov 5 '10 at 16:06

The next best thing you can do is to download the packages manually, then use is dpkg-deb -x to extract their contents to your home directory. Obviously, there won't be any automatic dependency resolution, and you'll have to use $LD_LIBRARY_PATH or other tricks to make things work with non-standard paths.

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You could be sneaky and set up a private RPM repository, but that's more trouble than it's worth and probably easier to add another system to the network, get permission, or have a virtual machine set up for you with a few additional privileges granted. Make friends with an authorized admin, being up front, and maybe they can open other doors for you.

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Could I set-up a virtual machine or do something with chroot within my own user account? – ArtB Nov 8 '10 at 4:05
Not without system privileges. Here are your choices as I see them: ask for help from the person or department that patches the base system, build the libraries from scratch, or attach a system you control onto the network. The last one (hook up your own) could get you punished. The middle one is very time consuming (I know first hand). The first option might take a while, but could end up being the most graceful solution. They might be willing to create a VM for you in a controlled environment if you ask nicely. Faculty may already do this and you're just joining the party. – zerolagtime Nov 8 '10 at 4:52
Alternatively, talk to the professor and get them to back your idea. Even if you're freelancing. Sometimes you need an "in," and who better than a prof who likes you. At the worst, they'll give you the name of someone competent who won't give you the runaround. – zerolagtime Nov 8 '10 at 4:55

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