Five years later...
Actually, compiling isn't hard at all if you have the required libraries installed. Just untar the source package, enter the distribution directory and type:
If that doesn't work, the most likely cause is that your system lacks the SDL libraries. Either try to install them, or compile xpilot without sdl by typing:
You probably need to become root in order to install.
You're a bit on the late side with your reply, aren't you?
Btw., actually, there's a debian package available now and xpilot-ng is in debian testing/unstable.
Gentoo support is AFAIK also present, but RPMs for the major distributions are still missing.
Unbuntu seems to have native packages for XPilotNG too..
The download stats seem to show something of an upswing over june july strangly.
I would do an up to date windows build (using only opensource compilers etc) but sadly the latest control center is still broken.
The newer versions of SDL seem to have some nice fixes in for windows so it could be good to get a newer package out there.