“Stop that!” – George Carlin
If you’ve obtained source code from an academic lab that was last developed some time ago and you spent a whole day installing libraries and symbolic links and redefining variables in your .bashrc and downgrading libraries and redefining paths and have 20 tabs open in your browser that all go to 20 different obscure error discussions on Stack Overflow and it’s late and you’re tired and you think you might not need the program after all if you do a bunch of other workaround things instead – what’s below is for you.
Academics have been developing small code for (nearly) millions of years to make their lives easier – and we all benefit when that code is made available to others (esp. when it helps in data analysis). When that code is a series of perl or python scripts, there’s generally little reason why you should have any run issues. When they call on external libraries or specific tools, generally that information is available in the README somewhere. Generally speaking, there’s no reason why a code shouldn’t work in a straightforward manner when the developer doesn’t make it known that something else needs be installed to make it work.
So, why doesn’t code A work on your linux box? A few possibilities.