At the ./waf configure line it says i must login. where?

at the ./waf configure line it says i must login. where? i’m already logged into the site. bear with me i’m new and the only reason i’m attempting to compile this myself is the self-extracting installer didn’t work. At all. Not even a bit.

That does not sound right, can you show the output of ./waf configure? There should be no message about logging in to anywhere. You also almost certainly want to add configuration options (compare to e.g. linux nightly-build log)

I assume you’re on Linux and the are speaking of the .run installer? How does that not work? Did you see

What happens if you run (assuming you’ve downloaded the 64bit 5.12 installer to ~/Downloads):

sh ~/Downloads/

i’m compiling it myself because i think i’m superman somtimes (i=idiot). so the message i get when i run the ./waf configure command is a menacing bright red “you must login first!” i’m logged in on the Ardour site with my credentials so I haven’t a clue what that means…
oh, also the self extracting “run” file wouldn’t do a thing…
ONE MORE THING (sorry): I am on Linux: Ubuntu 18.04

Generally when someone asks “show output” it means literally copy from your console to the web editor. The “you must login first!” message you typed into the editor has no context, so there is no way to know what happened before and after that to give a clue what is going on.
On the terminal window, use your mouse and highlight from the line where you typed “./waf configure” all the way down to the few lines past the “must login” message you see, then with that still highlighted move your mouse over the forum editor and click the middle mouse button. That will paste in all of the text from the terminal to the editor for you to include in your message.

The compilation tools have no concept of the Ardour web site, so unrelated.

Same thing there, copy the command that Robin gave above (starting with sh ~/Downloads …) into a terminal window, hit enter, then highlight the line you typed in the terminal and copy it all into the editor window in this forum topic so we can see exactly what “wouldn’t do a thing” means.

Just a few more notes on window navigation in linux. Usually highlighting text, then middle click somewhere else will paste whatever is still highlighted. Sometimes for various reasons that is awkward, so an alternative is you can highlight text and right click to get a context menu to copy or paste. Copy in the terminal, then in the web browser editor right click again to paste in.

And your effort should be concentrated on figuring out why the installer script is not running. I don’t want to come across as snide, but if you are not experienced enough to get a very well tested and reliable shell script running, you are not experienced enough at this point to be compiling and running your own build of Ardour.