If you like to tweak applications your own way before installing them you will need to compile the source packages and install them. It may seem intimidating on Linux due to the so-called dependency hell. Ubuntu simplifies that for you to the extent that it automatically downloads all dependencies. There are two ways to do this:
- apt-build: You may need to install apt-build first using synaptic. The syntax to build a package is:
# apt-build install packagename
- apt-get: I prefer this as it breaks down the process to provide a finer control. The syntax is:
# sudo apt-get build-dep packagename //download package dependencies # apt-get -b source packagename //creates a .deb package # dpkg -i packagename.deb //install the package
To make changes to the package source code, compile and install, check this thread.