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Compiling is always difficult unless you know about programming. Not all software is easily portable, but usually the programmer writes information in the code about how each system should compile the code. The best way to compile the code is to look for and read a file called either README or INSTALL. Also look for a file called Makefile. Once in the directory with the files try reading the files. If they do not help try typing these lines:
bash$ make all
bash$ make install
If one of those commands does something then that might be a good sign. If they do not then you will probably have to look around the package for some documentation. The only way to learn about installing software is to read.