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Re: Installing GNUstep

From: Tyson Whitehead
Subject: Re: Installing GNUstep
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 13:27:18 -0500

Andreas Höschler wrote:
Please, can anybody point me to a detailed installation instruction guide? By the way, which Linux distribution do you expect the fewest problems with? I have just installed RedHat 6.0 but the gcc coming with this distro does not seem to be suitable for GNUstep.
I just compiled the whole works myself about two weeks ago for the first time.  The best set of instructions I found was at www.gnustep.org --> Documentation (on the side) --> Comprehensive guide on installing GNUstep on Linux machines (third option from the top).  I see that GNU Installation instructions (the link above the previously mentioned one) says something about the gcc compiler that comes with RedHat 7.0 has problems (doesn't say anything about 6 though).

I'm running a modified Debian system myself (Potato with a few custom source compilation hacks -- Kernel 2.4.1, XFree 4.0.2, a whole slug of GNOME libraries, and probably a bunch of other stuff I've forgotten about).  In any event, I don't think that any of my 'manual' updates made any difference to GNUstep compiling.  Oh yeah, I'm also using WindowMaker as my window manager.

The Objective C/GNUstep stuff compiled and installed pretty clean from the source (especially compared to XFree!).  Here's a complete list of the packages I manual installed onto my system for GNUstep (note that I tried to get the latest of everything):

EXTERNAL PACKAGES (just use the ones on the GNUstep web site -- ignore the stuff on the right):
(ffcall) ffcall-1.8.tar.gz
(libobjc) gnustep-objc-0.9.2.tar.gz
(libxml) CVS server [:pserver:address@hidden:/cvs/gnome] with tag [LIBXML_2_3_3]
+Potato Debian packages to cover the rest (don't need iconv)

(make) gnustep-make-0.9.1.tar.gz
(base) gnustep-base-0.9.1.tar.gz
(gui) gnustep-gui-0.6.7.tar.gz
(xgps) gnustep-xgps-0.6.7.tar.gz

When doing an upgrade hack in Debian, I install the old Debian package first.  Get a list of the files it wrote ('dpkg -L <package name>', or 'find / -mmin -5' if you want to see everything that has changed on your filesystem in the last 5min).  Compile the upgrade with --prefix=/usr (sometimes you have to redirect /etc as well).  Log the installation process.  Compare the manual installation log to the package file list and make sure the locations all match up (that way when the new package becomes available, you just install it -- the package manager is none the wiser and you won't suffer from something the feels very much like the the exploding /Windows disease) [I'm very allergic to the exploding /Windows disease and have some ideas for a file tracking/allocation system that I would like to write some day -- but that's another story].  You may have to manually go remove it and rerun ./configure to get the installation locations correct (./configure --help will list the options, or just load the file up in an editor and read it yourself).

Once you have all the required packages installed The only catch I found was compiling things in the correct order (note that the GNUstep apps don't require a ./configure -- just type make instead).  I believe if you follow the order in the manual it will work (I didn't of course and ran into problems).  I think after you install the make package (which should be one of the very first, if not the first), you have source the GNUstep.sh file in /usr/GNUstep/System/Makefile (I think I might have set a --prefix= or something like that to put in under /usr as well) in order to get the rest to compile.  You will want to add commands from that file (or a call to that file) to you startup scripts so you don't manually have to source it every time you want a shell to be able to run GNUstep apps...  Hope that helps.  I'm probably not the best one to answer this as I haven't had much time to play with the stuff (i.e. if someone knows about something else I should've installed on my system as well -- please tell me)...

Good luck!

PS:  Boy this takes a lot of time.  I don't think I will have much time to answer general questions in the future as I have a thesis to write and a ton of projects to do... :(

 Tyson Whitehead  (address@hidden -- WSC 140-)
 Computer Engineer                          Dept. of Applied Mathematics,
 Graduate Student- Applied Mathematics      University of Western Ontario,
 GnuPG Key ID# 0x8A2AB5D8                   London, Ontario, Canada
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