medit uses autotools for the build. Quick build with default options: tar xjf medit-x.x.x.tar.bz2 cd medit-x.x.x ./configure make make install This will configure, build, and install medit to /usr/local. If you checked out a copy of mercurial repository, then do the following to build: ./autogen.sh ./configure --enable-dev-mode make make install You must have docbook, xsltproc, txt2tags to build medit from mercurial. Other tools may be required and configure may not check for them, please report those to the author. To build a python module which could be used in other programs, use --enable-moo-module --enable-shared --disable-static configure flags in addition to above.