view README.Linux @ 2957:17c69c89fe93

[project @ 1997-05-09 18:43:21 by jwe]
author jwe
date Fri, 09 May 1997 18:43:21 +0000
parents 00b2eff19bf5
children 91589ab98e37
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Since July 1996, most work on Octave has been done using a Linux
system, and a number of people who regularly test Octave snapshot
releases also primarily use Linux systems.

However, I have recently started to receive a significant number of
reports from people who say that they can't compile or run Octave on
Linux systems.  In nearly every case, the problem has turned out
to be that the compilers or libraries have not been installed
properly.  I suspect that this often results from a botched upgrade,
or from attempting to install the compilers from the standard source
distributions.  But in some cases, the cause has been a buggy Linux
distribution.  Many of these problems go unnoticed because much of the
software for Linux is written in C, not C++.

Octave compiles, but it won't run

If you can compile Octave, but it crashes with a segmentation fault
right away, you probably have incompatible versions of libc and libg++
installed, or you have a version of the dynamic loader,, that is
incompatible with your versions of the libraries, or both.

On my development system, I am using the following software:

  * Linux kernel 2.0.6
  * gcc/g++ 2.7.2
  * g77 0.5.18
  * libg++/libstdc++
  * libm 5.0.5
  * libc 5.2.18
  * libncurses 3.0
  * 1.7.14
  * binutils 2.6

I know from experience that the versions listed above seem to work
well together.  But if you have a newer version of the kernel, you may
need a newer version of the C library.  I don't have time to keep up
with all the various library versions (life is much too short for
that), nor do I know which combinations are supposed to work together.
That sort of information should be clearly stated in the release notes
for the libraries.  If it is not, please ask the maintainers of the
libraries to clarify the documentation.

Please note that I am NOT recommending that everyone running Linux and
using Octave should install the same versions of the libraries and
compilers that I have.  I am simply saying that the versions listed
above work for me.  Other version combinations may also work, but I
don't have time to map out all the possibilities...

Craig Earls <> reports that the order of installing
libc and lig++ is important.  If libg++ is installed *first*, Octave
will work, but if the libraries are installed in the reverse orfer,
Octave fails.  The conflict apparently arises because libc and libg++
shared libraries both use libio, however no one seems to be able to
provide a clear explanation of exactly what is happening.

Octave won't even compile

If you can't compile Octave, you should first check to see that your
compiler and header files are properly installed.  Do you have
multiple versions of the g++ include files on your system?  Are you
sure that your copy of g++ is finding the right set?  You can find out
by compiling a simple C++ program with -v:

bash$ cat
#include <iostream.h>
int main (void) { cerr << "yo\n"; return 0; }

bash$ g++ -v
gcc -v -lg++ -lstdc++ -lm
Reading specs from /usr/lib/gcc-lib/i486-linux/2.7.2/specs
gcc version 2.7.2
 /usr/lib/gcc-lib/i486-linux/2.7.2/cpp -lang-c++ -v -undef ...
#include "..." search starts here:
#include <...> search starts here:
End of search list.

If the location of the correct set of include files is not listed in
the search path, then you might be able to fix that with a symbolic
link.  However, if your version of libg++ was not compiled with your
current version of gcc, you are likely to run into more trouble.

The linker can't find -lieee

This can happen because your libraries don't match your version of
gcc.  Some recent Linux distributions don't include a libieee.a file
because IEEE support is now the default and the library is no longer
needed, but the gcc specs file still adds -lieee to the linker command
if gcc is invoked with the -mieeefp flag.  I believe that you should
be able to fix this by editing the gcc specs file.  In it, you should
find something like this:

  %{!shared: %{mieee-fp:-lieee} %{p:-lgmon} %{pg:-lgmon} \
  %{!ggdb:-lc} %{ggdb:-lg}}

changing it to

  %{!shared: %{p:-lgmon} %{pg:-lgmon} %{!ggdb:-lc} %{ggdb:-lg}}

should keep gcc from adding -lieee to the link command.  You can find
the location of the specs file by running the command gcc -v.

If you can't edit the gcc specs file for some reason, another solution
that should work is to create an empty libieee.a file in the Octave
src directory using the command:

  ar cq libieee.a

NOTE: you should fix this problem (either by editing the specs file or
by creating the library) *before* running configure and compiling
Octave.  Otherwise, configure may incorrectly determine that your
system doesn't have support for some IEEE math functions.

My system doesn't have g77

A binary release of g77 that should work with gcc 2.7.2 is available
from in the directory /pub/Linux/devel/lang/fortran.
There is also a Debian package for g77.

Problems with g77 on Debian 1.2 systems (and possibly others)

The location of the compiler binaries has changed, so the g77 0.5.18
package can not be used without modification.  The problem is that the
Debian package was built for gcc 2.7.2 and not and the f771
backend is installed in the wrong directory.

Version 0.5.19 of g77 has just been released.  A fixed Debian package
may be made available soon.  Until then, you can make things work by
copying f771 and libf2c.a from /usr/lib/gcc-lib/i486-linux/2.7.2 to

Upgrading your compiler and libraries

Installing libg++ on a Linux system is not as simple as it should be,
because libg++ shares some basic I/O code with the Linux C library,
and they must be compatible.  You should get and read the release
notes for the compiler and libraries.

If you decide to install versions of the libraries that are older (or
newer) than the ones you already have, you should follow the
directions in the release notes very carefully.

If you have comments or suggestions for this document, please contact

John W. Eaton
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department of Chemical Engineering

Wed Jan 29 13:39:02 1997