Next: , Previous: Installation, Up: Installation

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 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 step.

After you have installed Scheme, you can install a few dynamically loadable options. These are configured, built and installed in the customary way. To install the GDBM2 and MHASH options:

     (cd gdbm && ./configure && make && make install)
     (cd mhash && ./configure && make && make install)

The make install command will attempt to create a subdirectory in the first directory on the host Scheme's library path. If that directory is not writable by you, super-user privileges may be required.

You can put a writable directory at the front of your host Scheme's library path by setting the MITSCHEME_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable


or including the --library option on the command line.

     mit-scheme --library ~/mit-scheme-plugins:/usr/local/lib/mit-scheme-svm

A few of the included options wrap popular Unix libraries. To compile and link them you often need “developers' packages” installed first. The following table lists the included options and an example developers' package name (and shared library name). The package names can vary quite a bit among Unix distributions; the library names less so. Please see the README file in each option's subdirectory for more information.

libssl-dev (-lcrypto)
libgdbm-dev (-lgdbm)
libssl-dev (-lcrypto)
libmhash-dev (-lmhash)

After installing the software and any options, you can delete the unpacked directory:

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