GNUstep SVN Installation Guide

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This page is a step-by-step "How-to compile the latest svn version of GNUstep". It's mainly a short summary of different documents available.

NOTE: Instruction on installing GNUstep on Windows are available at Installation on Windows.


Make sure to have the libraries mentioned as Dependencies installed – from their specific web sites or using your packaging system. (Note that some distributions/variants put header files into separate *-dev or *-devel packages. In this case these must be installed, too!) You may also want to have a look at the article Platform compatibility for notes on your platform.


 svn co

See also Using Subversion.

Or use git to check out each core component separately. E.g. for make:

 git svn clone make

Makefile Package

You should install these packages as root.


Now, start with the Makefile Package.

cd core/make
make install

For configurations options see ./configure --help. For example ./configure --with-layout=fhs enables a more FHS-conformable filesystem layout. ./configure --prefix=MYPATH will install into MYPATH instead of the standard /usr/GNUstep. Typical options are / (into root directly, as NeXT or Apple do), /usr/local/GNUstep, /opt/GNUstep.

Extra configuration needed every time you use "GNUstep" from a command-line:

. /usr/GNUstep/System/Library/Makefiles/

For Bourne compatible shells, or

. /usr/GNUstep/System/Library/Makefiles/GNUstep.csh

For csh or tcsh.

Base/Foundation Library

cd core/base
make install

GUI/AppKit Library

cd core/gui
make install

Backend Library

The most stable GNUstep backend currently is the one dependent on cairo. The libart backend is no longer actively developed. You may want to try one of the different backends by using the configure option "--enable-graphics=" with either art, xlib, opal or cairo as parameter.

cd core/back
make install