More than anything else, keep in mind that there are usually at least a few different ways of doing anything in a *nix OS. Just because I do it this way does not mean that it's the right way™. These instructions may give you hives and cause your computer to explode. Use them are your own risk. If I make a typo, you blindly follow it, and you erase all of your data - sorry, but that's on you. These should be thought of as a guide - to get you going again when you are stuck, or to show you what may come next if you've never done it before. I'm happy to help, when I have time, and I'll do my best to avoid making mistakes myself, but if you are not 100% aware of what is happening, READ MORE, do research, maybe even try it out first in a non-production environment, or a VM that you can re-set. Don't expect to be able to zip through something complicated like the GCC HOWTO in a few minutes, not gonna happen. If it was simple or easy, you would probably not be looking for guidance.
Anywhere you see a time listed, like in the list of HOWTOs, my local time zone is EST/EDT in the USA (the time in New York).
If you come from a Windows background, recently, you may say "folder", but you will notice that I use what I believe to be the correct word: "directory". I will not get in to a discussion about that, as I will not get in to a discussion about religion, abortion, Emacs vs Vi, or any other "holy war".
These HOWTO documents were originally intended to be the series of commands that I run (or instruct others to run) and any gotchas that you may come across in the process.
I've been keeping the publicly accessible version of these going since roughly 2001. Some off-line ones years longer.
They were originally created for use by former clients of mine. At one point, I took them offline but received regular e-mails asking to send one, asking to pay for access, etc. So, I put them back up again.
Primarily thanks to Google, there appear to be lots of people using these. Much if it is dynamically generated by PHP, but some day I will probably write up a static copy that can be mirrored with rsync. [ I've been saying that for years... <g> ]
Each of these so-called HOWTOs uses source code, but is written for use on a machine that is running Slackware. These may or may not work on other distributions that use a different layout of files and directories (no, I do not use "folder"). Don't even bother reading these if you use Red Hat/Fedora, Ubuntu or similar ones where you'd be breaking your package manager (rpm, yum, apt-get, etc.) dependencies... unless of course you don't mind doing that. You'll also see 'removepkg packagename' in most of them. This tells Slackware's package tool to remove the old package that we're replacing.
Slackware uses 'su' primarily, some others like Ubuntu use 'sudo'. You can use whichever you like, but at least as I write this now, I'll be putting 'su' in there each time you need to become the "Superuser" (root). With Slackware 13.37, I noticed that before you could use 'su' and $USER would still be set to your non-root user. Now it seems you have to run 'su -p' to get that same behavior. Running 'logname' (after 'su') works too. So, HOWTOs that have not been updated lately may have 'su' and the use of $USER in there, but newly updated ones will use 'logname'. I've got it installed under Slackware 12.2, Slackware 13.37, Ubuntu 10.04.4, Ubuntu 11.10, ... so hopefully it's as widely used as it appears to be.