XEmacs Installation Guide
Copyright (c) 1994, 1995, 1996 Board of Trustees, University of Illinois
Copyright (c) 1994-1999, 2003, 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
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BUILDING AND INSTALLATION FOR UNIX AND CYGWIN
(for Microsoft Windows, see nt/README also.)
Make sure your system has enough swapping space allocated to handle a
program whose pure code is 900k bytes and whose data area is at least
400k and can reach 8Mb or more. Note that a typical XEmacs process
can get much bigger: the instance this sentence was written with is
over 100MB! If the swapping space is insufficient, you will get an
error in the command `temacs -batch -l loadup dump', found in
`./src/Makefile.in.in', or possibly when running the final dumped
Verify that your users have a high enough stack limit. On some systems
such as OpenBSD and OSF/Tru64 the default is 2MB which is too low. On
MacOS/X (Darwin) before 10.3, it's 512kB. See 'PROBLEMS' for details.
Building XEmacs requires about 100 Mb of disk space (including the
XEmacs sources). Once installed, XEmacs occupies between 20 and 100
MB in the file system where it is installed; this includes the
executable files, Lisp libraries, miscellaneous data files, and
on-line documentation. The exact amount depends greatly on the number
of extra Lisp packages that are installed.
XEmacs requires an ANSI C compiler, such as GCC. If you wish to build the
documentation yourself, you will need at least version 1.68 of makeinfo (GNU
texinfo-3.11). GNU Texinfo 4.2 is recommended; it is necessary for building
Lisp packages, and we may move to it for the core.
A note on terminology: unfortunately the terms "library" and "package"
are heavily overloaded. In the following, "library" refers to an
external body of executable code which may be linked with XEmacs at
build time to provide support for system features, such as images,
audio, stream compression, databases, and input methods. A "Lisp
library" is a file of Lisp code which may be loaded into XEmacs at
run-time to provide editor features. A "package" is a specially
prepared Lisp library or set of Lisp libraries, providing for easy
installation, upgrade, and removal of applications written in Lisp.
The FAQ sections 1.7 and 2.1 contain information vital to have a fully
working XEmacs. It includes a description of available packages, and
how to bootstrap XEmacs from a minimal or a complete set of packages.
This information was not included in this file only because it is too
large for this terse INSTALL. The FAQ is available in Texinfo format
in man/xemacs-faq.texi, as an Info file once you build XEmacs, and
online at http://www.xemacs.org/Documentation/21.5/html/xemacs-faq_1.html.
Decide which libraries you would like to use with XEmacs, but are not
yet available on your system. On some systems, X11, Motif and CDE are
optional additions. On MacOS/X systems prior to 10.2, you may download
X11R6 for Mac OS X from http://www.apple.com/macosx/x11/download/. In
later releases X11 is available as an optional package on the
installation CDs. In either case you need both the runtime libraries
and the SDK (in a sidebar of that page at the time of writing). There
is also a 3rd-party implementation of X11R6 for the Mac at
http://www.xdarwin.org/. On Solaris, the SUNWaudmo package enables
native sound support. There are also a number of free software
applications that XEmacs can use. If these are not yet available on
your system, obtain, build and install those external libraries before
building XEmacs. The libraries XEmacs can use are:
Xaw3d, XPM, JPEG, compface, PNG, zlib, GNU DBM, Berkeley DB, socks,
term, NAS, Canna, Kinput2, SJ3, Wnn, PostgreSQL, LDAP.
You can get (most of) them from the XEmacs FTP archive at
<ftp://ftp.xemacs.org/pub/xemacs/aux>. Information about what
each library does is available in the file
Use the `--with-site-includes' and `--with-site-libraries' options when
building XEmacs to allow configure to find the external software
packages. For your convenience these can be set together by using the
`--with-site-prefixes' option. This will set these variables as needed
assuming your libraries are organised as a typical /usr tree.
If you link dynamically with external libraries, usually denoted by
".so" (Unix), ".dll" (Windows), or ".dylib" (MacOS) file extensions, on
some systems you may also need to add the library directories to the
`--with-site-runtime-libraries' option. It is typically necessary only
if you link with dynamic libraries that are installed in non-standard
directories, or if you expect some of the libraries used to build XEmacs
to be in a different directory at run time than at build time.
NOTE: This option has unusual semantics. ONLY libraries found in the
directories specified in this option will be used at runtime. This
means you must specify ALL directories you want searched at runtime in
this option (perhaps excluding a very small number of standard system
Directories specified with `--with-site-libraries' are NOT automatically
added. The rationale is that most users will not need this option, and
this allows the builder to specify exactly the needed directories.
Specifying unnecessary directories leads to obscure problems (typically
startup delays) if those directories are mounted over a network, and the
automounter configuration changes. Not all systems need this option;
it's best to avoid using it if you can.
Dynamic linking has pros and cons. Dynamically linking 3rd party
libraries to XEmacs decreases the size of the binary, and means you
don't need to rebuild XEmacs to take advantage of improvements in the
libraries. On the other hand, XEmacs can fail subtly if the semantics
of a library changes, other users may not be able to use your
"private" copies of the libraries, and you may have to relink XEmacs,
or even omit the feature, if the ABI changes when the libraries are
In the top level directory of the XEmacs distribution, run the
program `configure' as follows:
./configure [CONFIGURATION-NAME] [--OPTION[=VALUE]] ...
Options are generally of the form `--with-FEATURE' or
`--enable-FEATURE' to use a feature or `--without-FEATURE' or
`--disable-FEATURE' to not use a feature. Unlike the `configure'
program used in other applications, either `--with-FEATURE' or
`--enable-FEATURE' can be used to use the same feature.
If you haven't built XEmacs 21.5 recently, the change from the
configure script based on Autoconf 2.13 can be a shock. Appendix:
Correspondence to Old Configure Options (at the end of this document)
contains a list of old options and their new equivalents.
Controlling the Host Type
Almost always, you should let `configure' (actually the shell script
`config.guess') guess your host type, by omitting the
CONFIGURATION-NAME argument. If you like to experiment, specify a
configuration name in the form MACHINE-VENDOR-OPSYS, for example:
See config.guess and configure.in for valid values for MACHINE,
VENDOR, and OPSYS. Also check `./etc/MACHINES' for advice on building
on particular machines.
Specifying Location of Headers and Libraries
The `--with-site-includes=DIR' and `--with-site-libraries=DIR' options
allow you to specify additional places the compiler should look for
include files and object libraries. You may specify multiple DIR's by
enclosing the list in quotes. All the external libraries you want to
use with XEmacs (e.g. xpm, wnn, ...) described later should have their
include and library directories defined using these options.
The `--with-site-runtime-libraries=DIR' option specifies directories to
search for shared libraries at run time. If you use this option, you
must specify ALL of the directories containing shared libraries at run
time, including system directories. Please read the information about
"ADD-ON LIBRARIES" above very carefully.
The `--x-includes=DIR' and `--x-libraries=DIR' options tell the build
process where the compiler should look for the include files and
object libraries used with the X Window System. Normally, `configure'
is able to find them; these options are necessary if you have your X
Window System files installed in unusual places.
Configuring the Build Process
The `--with-gcc=PROGRAM' option specifies that the build process should
compile XEmacs using GCC. The `--with-compiler' option allows you to
specify some other compiler to be used to compile XEmacs. If neither
option is specified, the environment variable CC is used instead.
Otherwise the compiler will then default to 'cc'.
The `--with-xemacs-compiler=PROGRAM' option specifies the compiler
control program for the xemacs binary only. Other C code will be
compiled according to the `--with-gcc' and `--with-compiler' options
above. This is useful if you wish to compile XEmacs with a C++
compiler, because the utilities in ./lib-src cannot be compiled as C++.
This option is primarily intended for use by the maintainers.
The `--with-cflags=FLAGS' option specifies all of the CFLAGS the build
process should use when compiling XEmacs, except for flags controlling
warning generation. Otherwise the value of the environment variable
CFLAGS is consulted. If that is also undefined, CFLAGS defaults to "-g
-O" for gcc and "-g" for all other compilers.
The `--with-cflags-warning=FLAGS' option specifies the warnings to be
generated. There is normally no reason to use this flag, as XEmacs
turns on as many warnings as possible, and is still intended to build
with no warnings. If you get any undocumented warnings, please report
them as bugs---they very often are, or at least indicate possible
The `--with-cflags-optimization=FLAGS' option specifies the
optimizations to be used. There is normally no reason to use this
flag, as XEmacs will already set the maximum safe optimization flags
appropriate for the compiler being invoked.
The `--with-cflags-debugging=FLAGS' option specifies debugging
information to be generated. You should avoid using this flag, as it
makes most severe or fatal bugs hard-to-impossible to diagnose and
fix. Debugging information does not slow down XEmacs at runtime, and
it doesn't make the binary very much bigger.
The `--with-dynamic' option specifies that configure should try to
link XEmacs dynamically rather than statically. `--with-static'
specifies the reverse. XEmacs's configure script detects whether
dynamic linking can be done on all platforms we know of; these options
are normally unnecessary.
The `--with-modules' option specifies that XEmacs be built with
support for runtime loadable modules. NOTE TO OEMS: XEmacs can be
distributed configured to support several options based on external
APIs (currently LDAP, PostgreSQL, and Canna) as loadable modules. You
can distribute an XEmacs binary package with these options enabled
without depending on the external package. XEmacs will fail
gracefully at runtime, issuing an error message indicating that the
required support was not found on the system.
You can build XEmacs for several different machine types from a single
source directory. To do this, you must use a version of `make' that
supports the `VPATH' variable, such as GNU `make'. Create separate
build directories for the different configuration types, and in each
one, run the XEmacs `configure' script. `configure' looks for the
Emacs source code in the directory that `configure' is in. The
`--srcdir' option may not work correctly (traditionally it was
overridden by the directory containing `configure').
Configuring the Installation Layout
The `--prefix=PREFIXDIR' option specifies where the installation process
should put XEmacs and its data files. This defaults to `/usr/local'.
- XEmacs (and the other utilities users run) go in PREFIXDIR/bin
(unless the `--exec-prefix' option says otherwise).
- The architecture-independent files go in PREFIXDIR/lib/xemacs-VERSION
(where VERSION is the version number of XEmacs, like `21.0').
- The architecture-dependent files go in
(where CONFIGURATION-NAME is the host type, like mips-dec-ultrix4.2),
unless the `--exec-prefix' option says otherwise.
The `--exec-prefix=EXECDIR' option allows you to specify a separate
portion of the directory tree for installing architecture-specific
files, like executables and utility programs. If specified,
- XEmacs (and the other utilities users run) go in EXECDIR/bin, and
- The architecture-dependent files go in
EXECDIR/bin should be a directory that is normally in users' PATHs.
If you specify --prefix (or any of the other installation directory
options), they will get compiled into the xemacs executable so it will
be able to find its various associated files. However, XEmacs has
quite elaborate logic to find out the locations of these directories
dynamically. Sometimes, it is desirable *not* to compile these
directories into the executable so you can move the XEmacs
installation around (as whole) at will. This is true for binary kits,
for instance. Therefore, you can specify --without-prefix on the
configure command line to prevent the installation prefix to become
part of the generated executable; everything else will continue to
work as usual.
Configuring Feature Support
If you don't want X Window System support, specify `--without-x'. If
you omit this option, `configure' will try to autodetect whether your
system has X Window System support, and arrange to use it if present.
The `--without-xmu' option can be used if your vendor doesn't ship
the Xmu library.
The `--with-menubars=TYPE' option allows you to specify which X
toolkit you wish to use for the menubar. The valid options are
`lucid', `motif' and `no'. The default is `lucid' which is a
Motif-lookalike menubar. We highly recommend its usage over the real
Motif menubar. (In fact, the Motif menubar is currently broken.) If
`no' is specified then support for menubars will not be compiled in.
The `--with-scrollbars=TYPE' option allows you to specify which X
toolkit you wish to use for the scrollbars. The valid options are
`lucid', `motif', `athena', `athena3d', and `no'. The default is
`lucid' which is a Motif-lookalike scrollbar. If `no' is specified then
support for scrollbars will not be compiled in.
The `--with-dialogs=TYPE' option allows you to specify which X toolkit
you wish to use for the dialog boxes. The valid options are `athena',
`athena3d', `motif, and `no. The `lucid' option is accepted and will
result in the `athena' toolkit being used. If the Motif toolkit can be
found the default is `motif'. Otherwise, the default is `athena'. If
`no' is specified then support for dialog boxes will not be compiled in.
The `--with-toolbars' option allows you to enable or disable toolbar
support. The default is `yes' if support for a windowing system is
The `--with-xpm' option specifies that XEmacs should support X11
Pixmaps. `configure' will attempt to detect if you have the Xpm
libraries and define `--with-xpm' for you.
The `--with-xface' option specifies that XEmacs should support
X-Faces. `configure' will attempt to detect if you have the compface
library and define `--with-xface' for you.
The `--with-database' option specifies that XEmacs should be built
with simple database support. The valid options are `no' or a
comma-separated list of one or more of `dbm', `gnudbm' or `berkdb'.
`configure' will attempt to detect the necessary libraries and header
files and define `--with-database' for you.
The `--with-postgresql' option specifies that XEmacs should be built
with PostgreSQL support, linking with libpq. `configure' will attempt
to detect whether PostgreSQL support is available, and automatically
define `--with-postgresql' for you. NOTE TO OEMS: If modules are
supported and enabled, the libpq API support will be build as a
The `--with-ldap' option specifies that XEmacs should be build with
LDAP support, using the OpenLDAP libraries. `configure' will attempt
to detect whether LDAP support is available, and automatically define
`--with-ldap' for you. NOTE TO OEMS: If modules are supported and
enabled, the OpenLDAP API support will be build as a module.
The `--with-socks' option specifies that XEmacs should be built with
SOCKS support. This requires the libsocks library.
The `--with-external-widget' option specifies that XEmacs should be
built with support for being used as a widget by other X11 applications.
This functionality should be considered beta.
The `--with-sound=TYPE' option specifies that XEmacs should be built
with sound support. Native (`--with-sound=native') sound support is
currently available only on Sun SparcStations, SGI's, HP9000s, and
systems (such as Linux) with soundcard.h. Network Audio Support (NAS)
(`--with-sound=nas') is an extension to X that you may or may not have
for your system. For NAS, you will probably need to provide the paths
to the nas include and library directories to configure. If
`--with-sound' is not specified, `configure' will attempt to determine
if your configuration supports native sound and define --with-sound
for you. If your native sound library is not in a standard location you
can specify it with the `--with-native-sound-lib=LIB' flag. For Linux,
`/dev/audio' is required for SunAudio files and `/dev/dsp' is required
for raw data and WAVE format files.
The `--with-tooltalk' option specifies that XEmacs should be built
with ToolTalk support for interconnecting with other applications.
ToolTalk is not yet supported on all architectures. If you use this
option, you should have the tooltalk package (see etc/PACKAGES)
installed prior to building XEmacs.
The `--with-sparcworks' option specifies that XEmacs should be built
with support for Sun Sparcworks 3.0.1 and up (including Sun WorkShop).
This functionality is only of use on SunOS 4.1.x and Solaris 2.x
systems. If you use this option, you should have the Sun package (see
etc/PACKAGES) installed prior to building XEmacs.
The `--with-cde' option allows you to enable or disable CDE drag and
drop support. `configure' will attempt to detect this option and
define `--with-cde' for you.
The `--with-offix' option allows you to enable or disable OffiX drag
and drop support. This requires no external library support, so if
X11 support is available, then this option defaults to `yes'. OffiX
support can be explicitly disabled via the `--with-offix=no' option.
The `--with-mule' option enables MUlti-Lingual Emacs (Mule) support,
needed to support non-Latin-1 (including Asian) languages. Mule
support is required for Asian language and Unicode (multibyte and wide
character) support. With the advent of the Euro and European
Community expansion, Mule support is also recommended for Western
Europeans. Enabling Mule support requires the mule-base package
installed prior to building XEmacs. The `--with-xim', --with-xfs',
`--with-canna', `--with-wnn' and `--with-wnn6' options require
The `--with-xim' option enables use of the X11 XIM mechanism to allow
an input method to input text into XEmacs. The input method is shared
among all the X applications sharing an X display and using the same
language. The XIM support comes in two flavors: `motif' and `xlib'.
The Motif support (the XmIm* functions) is preferred when available.
The xlib XIM support works reasonably well so long as the X11 libraries
are recent enough. It has been fairly well tested on Linux with glibc
2.0.5 and 2.0.6 and Kinput2 as an XIM server. In this configuration
X11 must be recompiled with X_LOCALE defined because glibc is lacking
localization for Japanese. The XIM support defaults to `no' except
when Motif is detected where it is stable with OSF libraries. The XIM
support in Lesstif (a Free Motif replacement) does not work as of
v0.82. If you enable this option, you will probably wish to install
the `locale' package which contains localized Splash screens and
The `--with-xfs' option enables use of a multilingual Menubar. At the
present time, only Japanese and French locales are supported. In
order to use a multilingual Menubar you must have the `locale' package
installed. The `locale' package does not have to be installed when
The `--with-canna' option enables the use of the Canna Japanese input
method. This is stable code and fairly well tested. In order to use
it, you will have to have the Canna server installed and running. Canna
versions 3.2pl2, 3.5b2, and 3.7p3 are known to work. Version 3.2pl2 is
considered more stable than version 3.5b2; the stability of 3.7p3 is
still unknown. If Canna is already installed, configure will autodetect
it, so you never need to explicitly use this option unless your Canna
libraries are somewhere strange. Canna run time support is currently
bundled with the `mule-base' package so there is nothing additional to
install in order to use it. NOTE TO OEMS: If modules are supported
and enabled, the libcanna API support will be build as a module.
The `--with-wnn' and `--with-wnn6' options are for compiling with the Wnn
multi-language input method. `--with-wnn' is for compiling with Wnn-4.2,
the Free version of WNN. `--with-wnn6' is for compiling against WNN6,
the commercial version of WNN available from OMRON Corporation. This is
stable code and fairly well tested. In order to build with this
option, you will need to have the `egg-its' lisp package already
Please note that it is safe to build with as many of the options
`--with-xim', `--with-canna' and `--with-wnn' as your system
Options for Developers and Special Requirements
The `--with-rel-alloc' option can be used to either enable or disable
use of the relocating allocator. Turning on --with-rel-alloc will allow
XEmacs to return unused memory to the operating system, thereby reducing
its memory footprint. However, it may make XEmacs runs more slowly,
especially if your system's `mmap' implementation is missing or
inefficient. Generally, it's best to go with the default configuration
for your system. You can tweak this based on how you use XEmacs, and
the memory and cpu resources available on your system.
The `--with-system-malloc' option can be used to either enable or
disable use of the system malloc. Generally, it's best to go with the
default configuration for your system. Note that on many systems
using the system malloc disables the use of the relocating allocator.
The `--with-debug-malloc' option can be used to link a special
debugging version of malloc. Debug Malloc is not included with XEmacs
and is intended for use only by the developers. It may be obtained
The `--enable-debug' and `--enable-error-checking' options are primarily
useful to the developers. `--enable-debug' incorporates code for
performing various tests, but does not impose a speed penalty.
`--enable-error-checking' adds additional tests to many of the commonly
used macros, and imposes a speed penalty. Using either or both of these
options can make bug reports more useful to the developers.
The `--verbose' option is useful only to the developers. It displays
additional information, useful for debugging `configure'.
For most platforms, configure or the src/s file have the preferred
method for locking mail spool files preconfigured. Otherwise you must
find out for youself. Do not choose a locking protocol "on the
objective merits." XEmacs must use the same method as other mail
utilities on your system, or you WILL lose mail.
Presently, XEmacs supports lockf, flock, and dot locking. Specify the
locking method via the --with-mail-locking=METHOD option to configure.
Valid values for METHOD are --with-mail-locking are `lockf', `flock',
`configure' doesn't do any compilation or installation itself. It
just creates the files that influence those things: `./src/config.h',
and all the Makefiles in the build tree.
When it is done, `configure' prints a description of what it did and
creates a shell script `config.status' which, when run, recreates the
same configuration. If `configure' exits with an error after
disturbing the status quo, it removes `config.status'. If `configure'
doesn't work as expected, the file `config.log' contains details of
the tests run and their results.
Look at `./lisp/paths.el'; if some of those values are not right for
your system, set up the file `./lisp/site-init.el' with XEmacs Lisp
code to override them; it is not a good idea to edit paths.el itself.
YOU MUST USE THE LISP FUNCTION `setq' TO ASSIGN VALUES, rather than
`defvar', as used by `./lisp/paths.el'. For example,
(setq news-inews-program "/usr/bin/inews")
is how you would override the default value of the variable
news-inews-program (which is "/usr/local/inews").
Before you override a variable this way, *look at the value* that the
variable gets by default! Make sure you know what kind of value the
variable should have. If you don't pay attention to what you are
doing, you'll make a mistake.
Things may malfunction if the variable `directory-abbrev-alist' is not
set up to translate "temporary" automounter mount points into the
canonical form. XEmacs tries to detect how your automounter is
configured. If you have an unusual automounter configuration that
XEmacs cannot detect, you may need to change the value of
SITE-SPECIFIC STARTUP CODE
Put into `./lisp/site-init.el' or `./lisp/site-load.el' any Emacs Lisp
code you want XEmacs to load before it is dumped out. Use
site-load.el for additional libraries if you arrange for their
documentation strings to be in the lib-src/DOC file (see
src/Makefile.in.in if you wish to figure out how to do that). For all
else, use site-init.el.
Note that, on some systems, the code you place in site-init.el must
not use expand-file-name or any other function which may look
something up in the system's password and user information database.
See `./PROBLEMS' for more details on which systems this affects.
The `site-*.el' files are nonexistent in the distribution. You do not
need to create them if you have nothing to put in them.
Refer to the file `./etc/TERMS' for information on fields you may
wish to add to various termcap entries. The files `./etc/termcap.ucb'
and `./etc/termcap.dat' may already contain appropriately-modified
Run `make' in the top directory of the XEmacs distribution to finish
building XEmacs in the standard way. The final executable file is
named `src/xemacs'. You can execute this file in place without
copying it, if you wish; then it automatically uses the sibling
directories ../lisp, ../lib-src, ../info.
Or you can install the executable and the other XEmacs into their
permanent locations, with `make install'. By default, XEmacs's files
are installed in the following directories:
`/usr/local/bin' holds the executable programs users normally run -
`xemacs', `etags', `ctags', `b2m', `emacsclient', `ellcc',
`gnuclient', `gnudoit', `gnuattach', and `rcs-checkin'.
`/usr/local/lib/xemacs-VERSION/lisp' holds the Emacs Lisp libraries;
`VERSION' stands for the number of the XEmacs version
you are installing, like `18.59' or `19.14'. Since
the lisp libraries change from one version of XEmacs to
another, including the version number in the path
allows you to have several versions of XEmacs installed
at the same time; this means that you don't have to
make XEmacs unavailable while installing a new version.
XEmacs searches for its lisp files in these
directories, and then in
`/usr/local/lib/xemacs-VERSION/etc' holds the XEmacs tutorial, the
`yow' database, and other architecture-independent
files XEmacs might need while running. VERSION is as
specified for `.../lisp'.
`/usr/local/lib/xemacs/lock' contains files indicating who is
editing what, so XEmacs can detect editing clashes
`/usr/local/lib/xemacs-VERSION/CONFIGURATION-NAME' contains executable
programs used by XEmacs that users are not expected to
run themselves, and the DOC file. `VERSION' is the
number of the XEmacs version you are installing, and
`CONFIGURATION-NAME' is the host type of your system.
Since these files are specific to the version of
XEmacs, operating system, and architecture in use,
including the configuration name in the path allows
you to have several versions of XEmacs for any mix of
machines and operating systems installed at the same
time; this is useful for sites at which different
kinds of machines share the file system XEmacs is
`/usr/local/lib/xemacs-VERSION/CONFIGURATION-NAME/modules' holds the Emacs
dynamically loadable modules. These are special programs
typically written in C that can be loaded in much the same
way that Lisp packages are. Not all systems support
dynamic modules, so do not be alarmed if this directory
does not exist or is empty.
XEmacs searches for modules in this directory, or any
sub-directory of it, and then in
`/usr/local/lib/xemacs-VERSION/info' holds the on-line documentation
for XEmacs, known as "info files".
`/usr/local/man/man1' holds the man pages for the programs installed
If these directories are not what you want, you can specify where to
install XEmacs's libraries and data files or where XEmacs should search
for its lisp files by giving values for `make' variables as part of
You can change where the build process installs XEmacs and its data
files by specifying values for `make' variables as part of the `make'
command line. For example, if you type
make install bindir=/usr/local/gnubin
the `bindir=/usr/local/gnubin' argument indicates that the XEmacs
executable files should go in `/usr/local/gnubin', not
Here is a complete list of the variables you may want to set.
`bindir' indicates where to put executable programs that users can
run. This defaults to /usr/local/bin.
`datadir' indicates where to put the architecture-independent
read-only data files that XEmacs refers to while it runs; it
defaults to /usr/local/lib. We create the following
subdirectories under `datadir':
- `xemacs-VERSION/lisp', containing the XEmacs lisp libraries, and
- `xemacs-VERSION/etc', containing the XEmacs tutorial and the
`VERSION' is the number of the XEmacs version you are installing,
like `18.59' or `19.14'. Since these files vary from one version
of XEmacs to another, including the version number in the path
allows you to have several versions of XEmacs installed at the
same time; this means that you don't have to make XEmacs
unavailable while installing a new version.
`statedir' indicates where to put architecture-independent data files
that XEmacs modifies while it runs; it defaults to
/usr/local/lib as well. We create the following
subdirectories under `statedir':
- `xemacs/lock', containing files indicating who is editing
what, so XEmacs can detect editing clashes between
`libdir' indicates where to put architecture-specific data files that
XEmacs refers to as it runs; it too defaults to `/usr/local/lib'.
We create the following subdirectories under `libdir':
- `xemacs-VERSION/CONFIGURATION-NAME', containing executable
programs used by XEmacs that users are not expected to run
themselves, and the DOC file.
`VERSION' is the number of the XEmacs version you are installing,
and `CONFIGURATION-NAME' is the host type of your system.
Since these files are specific to the version of XEmacs,
operating system, and architecture in use, including the
configuration name in the path allows you to have several
versions of XEmacs for any mix of machines and operating
systems installed at the same time; this is useful for sites
at which different kinds of machines share the file system
XEmacs is installed on.
`infodir' indicates where to put the info files distributed with
XEmacs; it defaults to `/usr/local/lib/xemacs-VERSION/info'.
`mandir' indicates where to put the man pages for XEmacs and its
utilities (like `etags'); it defaults to
`prefix' doesn't give a path for any specific part of XEmacs; instead,
its value is used to determine the defaults for all the
architecture-independent path variables - `datadir',
`statedir', `infodir', and `mandir'. Its default value is
`/usr/local'; the other variables add on `lib' or `man' to it
For example, suppose your site generally places GNU software
under `/usr/users/software/gnusoft' instead of `/usr/local'.
in the arguments to `make', you can instruct the build process
to place all of the XEmacs data files in the appropriate
directories under that path.
`exec_prefix' serves the same purpose as `prefix', but instead
determines the default values for the architecture-dependent
path variables - `bindir' and `libdir'.
The above variables serve analogous purposes in the makefiles for all
GNU software; here are some variables specific to XEmacs.
`lispdir' indicates where XEmacs installs and expects its lisp
libraries. Its default value, based on `datadir' (see above),
is `/usr/local/lib/xemacs-VERSION/lisp' (where `VERSION' is as
`sitelispdir' indicates where XEmacs should search for lisp libraries
specific to your site. XEmacs checks them in order before
checking `lispdir'. Its default value, based on `datadir'
(see above), is `/usr/local/lib/xemacs/site-lisp'.
`etcdir' indicates where XEmacs should install and expect the rest of
its architecture-independent data, like the tutorial and yow
database. Its default value, based on `datadir'
(see above), is `/usr/local/lib/xemacs-VERSION/etc' (where
`VERSION' is as described above).
`lockdir' indicates the directory where XEmacs keeps track of its
locking information. Its default value, based on `statedir'
(see above), is `/usr/local/lib/xemacs/lock'.
`archlibdir' indicates where XEmacs installs and expects the
executable files and other architecture-dependent data it uses
while running. Its default value, based on `libdir' (see
above), is `/usr/local/lib/xemacs-VERSION/CONFIGURATION-NAME'
(where VERSION and CONFIGURATION-NAME are as described above).
`docdir' indicates where to put Lisp documentation strings that XEmacs
refers to as it runs. It defaults to the value of `archlibdir'
`moduledir' indicates where XEmacs installs and expects to find
any dynamic modules. Its default value, based on
`archlibdir' (see above) is
(where VERSION and CONFIGURATION-NAME are as described above).
By their very nature, dynamic loadable modules are architecture-
dependent, and care should be taken not to set this directory
to a system- or architecture-independent directory.
Remember that you must specify any variable values you need each time
you run `make' in the top directory. If you run `make' once to build
xemacs, test it, and then run `make' again to install the files, you
must provide the same variable settings each time. To make the
settings persist, you can edit them into the `Makefile' in the top
directory, but be aware that running the `configure' program erases
`Makefile' and rebuilds it from `Makefile.in'.
The top-level Makefile stores the variable settings it used in the
Makefiles for the subdirectories, so you don't have to specify them
when running make in the subdirectories.
Using GNU Make allows for simultaneous builds with and without the
This saves nothing but a small (by modern standards) amount of disk
space; the symbol table is not loaded into memory at execution time.
If you do encounter a crash or other serious bug, the first thing the
developers will do is ask you to build an XEmacs with a full symbol
table, anyway. Don't strip the XEmacs binary.
If your system uses dot-locking to interlock access to mailer inbox
files, then you might need to make the movemail program setuid or
setgid to enable it to write the lock files. We believe this is safe.
The setuid/setgid bits need not be set on any other XEmacs-related
You are done with the hard part! You can remove executables and
object files from the build directory by typing `make clean'. To also
remove the files that `configure' created (so you can compile XEmacs
for a different configuration), type `make distclean'.
READ THE FAQ
The most common problem is that you forgot to read and follow the
directions for installing bootstrap packages in the FAQ. You can not
have a normal XEmacs without downloading some additional packages.
See the file PROBLEMS in this directory for a list of various problems
sometimes encountered, and what to do about them. PROBLEMS is also
the place where platform-specific build notes can be found.
APPENDIX: CORRESPONDENCE TO OLD CONFIGURE OPTIONS
Here is a full translation of command line arguments. Note that any
option starting with "--with" may also be specified with "--enable".
This list may not be up-to-date.
Old | New
Run-time path-searching options:
TTY (character terminal) options:
Memory allocation options:
Emacs Lisp options:
The output files produced by this new configure should be almost
identical to those produced by the old. This can be tested with the
provided regression test script. This script runs the two versions of
configure with the supplied list of command line arguments and reports
any differences. Please add your favorite configuration command lines
to the list before running the test. The script is run as:
$ tests/autoconf/regressiontest.pl /absolute/path/to/2.13/configure \
The only differences should be:
- those related to changes in the command line arguments
- the change of SYS_SIGLIST_DECLARED to HAVE_DECL_SYS_SIGLIST (because the old
form has been removed), and
- The removal of trailing comments in src/config.h.