The version of maxima in the debian repos is the same as in the sourceforge archives. There's only one good reason to compile your own version from what I can see -- to get around the dependency of maxima on gnuplot.
Let me explain: the gnuplot version in the debian repos has problems handling small numbers (<10**(-9)). Uninstalling gnuplot and replacing it with your a version you've compiled yourself removes maxima.
Luckily it's easy to build:
mv download\?source\=files maxima-5.26.0.tar.gz
where 5 is the number of cores +1 (I have four cores). Change as needed.
Checkinstall may or may not exit successfully if you have compiled your own version of gnuplot -- see below. Chances are that it built the package correctly.
sudo make install
If you get
dpkg: error processing maxima_5.26.0-1_amd64.deb (--install):
trying to overwrite '/usr/local/share/info/dir', which is also in package gnuplot 4.4.4-1
dpkg-deb: error: subprocess paste was killed by signal (Broken pipe)
sudo dpkg --force-overwrite -i maxima_5.26.0-1_amd64.deb
You can see that the dir file is ok (GNUPlot is still referred to):
This is the file .../info/dir, which contains the
topmost node of the Info hierarchy, called (dir)Top.
The first time you invoke Info you start off looking at this node.
File: dir, Node: Top This is the top of the INFO tree
This (the Directory node) gives a menu of major topics.
Typing "q" exits, "?" lists all Info commands, "d" returns here,
"h" gives a primer for first-timers,
"mEmacs<Return>" visits the Emacs manual, etc.
In Emacs, you can click mouse button 2 on a menu item or cross reference
to select it.
* Imaxima: (imaxima). Image support for the computer algebra system
Maxima. Interactive math minor mode.
* GNUPLOT: (gnuplot). An Interactive Plotting Program
* Maxima: (maxima). A computer algebra system.
* Xmaxima: (xmaxima). Graphical interface for Maxima.