[Help] 1.4.0 makefile throwing errors

I would like to install Asterisk on a Linux system. I can not re-install the OS, thus (from what I understand) AsteriskNOW can not be used.

All of the getting starting literature I can find says to download the Asterisk tar file (asterisk-1.4.0.tar.gz), run “tar -xvzf”, and then run “make clean” followed by “make install”.

I got the gz file and ran tar. Both make commands output a ton of errors, many of the form “Need an operator”. The first such error is at line 29.

I have tried various shells (bash, sh, ksh) and get the same errors each time.

How do I get past this point and get this thing installed?