If you build it they will come.
FreeTDS uses GNU Autoconf, Automake, and libtool to increase portability.
For many people, the preceding sentence says it all (good or bad). If you're familiar with the GNU system, you can probably just download the tarball and get away with scanning the README impatiently and then following your instincts. Because everyone is a beginner once and no one is an expert at everything, we'll try to explain things in plain English where possible, and to define our terms as we go along.
If the following nevertheless reads like gibberish, you might very well want to use something prepackaged (see Alternatives). If it reads like a vaguely intelligible alien script that might yield to intensive research, we've included links to some of the usual suspects at the end of this chapter. If it reads like a bad explanation of something you could explain better, please send us your version!
Versions used for this release