Installing GDAL on Linux easily
Installing GDAL and its Python bindings on Linux is typically quite easy, provided you are using Debian or Ubuntu, as they already have packages compiled for them. The packages are compiled so as to support a large number of different file formats. However, if you are using other Linux distributions, or if you don't have root access, installing GDAL (or compiling it locally) is fraught with difficulties. After a lot of pain on this, I think the best way to do this is to install the Anaconda Python distribution, and then install suitable conda packages with GDAL and dependencies linked in. This is easy and straightforward, and can be extended to MacOSX and to Windows (if someone figures out how to do it!).
For Linux, the process goes like this:
Download the anaconda installer for your system from here
Install somewhere (typically /opt/anaconda/, but up to you!)
Add the Anaconda bin directory to your $PATH
Install my Linux GDAL packages withconda install --yes -c https://conda.binstar.org/jgomezdans gdal=1.11.0
You should now be able to use the Python GDAL bindings, but also all the GDAL executables will be installed!