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1.1 Unix Installation

We will use as an example the installation for GNU/Linux. The installation for other unix systems is similar. There are several references to ARCH below; these refer to the computer architecture that Scheme is compiled for, either ‘i386’ or ‘x86-64’.

MIT/GNU Scheme is distributed as a compressed ‘tar’ file. The tar file contains both source and binary files; the binary files are pre-compiled Scheme code for a particular computer architecture.

In order to install the software, it’s necessary to configure and compile the C code, then to install the combined C and Scheme binaries. This is done in the following steps:

  1. Unpack the tar file, mit-scheme-VERSION-ARCH.tar.gz, into the directory mit-scheme-VERSION. For example,
    tar xzf mit-scheme-VERSION-i386.tar.gz

    will create a new directory mit-scheme-VERSION.

  2. Move into the src subdirectory of the new directory:
    cd mit-scheme-VERSION/src
  3. Configure the software:

    By default, the software will be installed in /usr/local, in the subdirectories bin and lib. If you want it installed somewhere else, for example /opt/mit-scheme, pass the --prefix option to the configure script, as in ./configure --prefix=/opt/mit-scheme.

    The configure script accepts all the normal arguments for such scripts, and additionally accepts some that are specific to MIT/GNU Scheme. To see all the possible arguments and their meanings, run the command ./configure --help.

  4. Build the software:
    make compile-microcode
  5. Install the software:
    make install

    Depending on configuration options and file-system permissions, you may need super-user privileges to do the installation steps.

  6. Build the documentation:
    cd ../doc
  7. Install the documentation:
    make install-info install-html install-pdf

    Depending on configuration options and file-system permissions, you may need super-user privileges to do the installation step.

After you have installed Scheme you will want to install several plugins. Scheme no longer uses dynamically loaded microcode modules installed with Scheme. The micromodules have been converted into plugins: new subsystems that use the C/FFI to dynamically load the same code. Crucially at this point plugins can be built and installed separately.

To get all of the functionality previously available in version 9.2 you will need to build and install all of the plugins included in the src subdirectory: blowfish, gdbm, mcrypt, pgsql, edwin, imail, x11 and x11-screen. Edwin does not use the C/FFI directly, but it does use the blowfish and gdbm plugins. It is now built separately, like a plugin, after the blowfish and gdbm plugins are installed. Similarly, Imail must be built after Edwin is installed, and the X11 Screen option cannot be built until Edwin and the X11 plugin are installed. And without X11 Screen, Edwin will only display on a terminal.

These plugins are all configured, built and installed in the GNU standard way. See the README file in each plugin’s source directory for complete details.

After installing Scheme and your desired plugins, you can delete the source directory:

cd ../..
rm -rf mit-scheme-VERSION

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