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[Help-gnunet] From IRC chat: ng0 asked me to post problems with the git

From: Diagon
Subject: [Help-gnunet] From IRC chat: ng0 asked me to post problems with the git docs.
Date: Sat, 06 Oct 2018 07:08:27 -0700
User-agent: Zoho Mail

I was asked by ng0 on IRC to write up the difficulties I was having with making 
sense of gnunet installation.  I've written up my confusions (to this point) 

Please take this as constructive input on the docs from someone who is a user, 
but not completely new to things.  This is my third attempt to make sense of 
any of the extant install information.  It appears to me that there are 
basically 3 places to go for that information.  On my two previous attempts, 
which were subsequent to installing Ubuntu 16.04, I found my way, sensibly, to 
the web page:

These are not only old but conflict.  Perhaps you should get rid of them 
altogether?  I tried to make sense of putting Ubuntu 14.04 and Debian 8 docs 
together to work with Ubuntu 16.04 (a combination of Debian 9 + unstable), but 
gave up.  Perhaps it's worse with 18.04.  I did glean a few things which may be 
relevant to clarify in newer docs:

(1) There is a comment on libmicrohttpd at the bottom of Perhaps this still applies 
to new Ubuntus?  See the issue below with that library being too old in Ubuntu 
16.04.  (I am now told by amadus in IRC that it is also too old in Debian 

(2) Notice that it is only in the Debian 8 install instructions 
( that we are told that we need 
the packages libogg-dev, libpulse-dev, libopus-dev, & some others.  They are 
not mentioned in the Ubuntu 14.04 install.  These packages become optional for 
chat in the 0.11.0 prerelease README.  I'm not clear if they are needed for the 
chat option in ubuntu 16.04.

(3) The gnurl web page ( I had to find via a search 
engine because those instructions only have links to specific tar balls, is not 
up to date with the git (  A tarball link 
looks like:, which 
provides no way to get to that page.

On my third attempt, I found my way to IRC and was told to either install from 
the git repo or from the 0.11.0 preinstall.  Starting from git, I went to the 
README, which says:

(a) "These are the direct dependencies for running GNUnet:"  This appears 
twice.  Lists following this quote conflict.
(b) "Generic installation instructions are in the INSTALL file in this 
directory."  That file does not exist
(c) "IMPORTANT: You can read further notes about compilation from source in the 
'doc/FILENAME' document"   That file does not exist
(d) For someone who is not used to installing from source, it was for some time 
not clear that all packages should be the "-dev" form, /except/ for the one 
that is noted "binary".

I then kept searching and did find a couple of other files:

(2) doc/system_specific/FROM_SOURCE
(3) doc/documentation/chapters/installation.texi

These are in texinfo format and difficult to interpret prior to compilation, 
which is of course the case when one is trying to figure out how to do the 
install.  They also appeared to contradict the README, which was in any case 
self contradictory ((1)(a), above).

Finally, I decided to go to the pre-release.  The README there was much clearer 
and did not refer to non-existent files.  My difficulty at that point became 
Ubuntu 16.04's libmicrohttpd-dev (also apparently Debian Stretch) and 
libpulse-dev being versions older than those called for.  I came to IRC to ask 
about what to do to handle those two old packages.  (No answer yet.)  If I have 
to install from source, some note to help on doing that and a note how to avoid 
damaging our systems, could be useful.

This led to sva pointing to his new Stretch install instructions 
Here I found many of the required dependencies (based on the pre-release 
README) missing on a supposedly working install: libmicrohttpd-dev, libgnurl, 
libgnutls-dev, openssl, libltdl-dev, texinfo.  Also, he had 
libcurl4-gnutls-dev.  Is that a replacement for libgnurl?  He has no optional 
packages either, but included a few not mentioned in that README: zlib1g-dev  
libjansson-dev autopoint miniupnpc, which of course makes me curios what these 
are for.

I've been back 3 times.  I /really/ want to try this.  I do think this project 
shows a particular fragmentation of useful information, leaving at least one 
reasonably competent person, even if not a developer, throwing up their hands.

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