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See section Prerequisites, for what you need to have installed before you can compile these programs.

After that, here's what to do:

If you encounter problems anywhere along the line, let us know. Known problems are listed below (see section Problems). See section Bugs, for details on how to submit a useful bug report.

The configure script

(This section is largely from the Autoconf manual, by David MacKenzie. See section `Running configure scripts' in Autoconf.)

The configure script that comes with the font utilities is generated automatically by the Autoconf program. You can regenerate configure by rerunning Autoconf (for example, if a new version of Autoconf is released); you must arrange for Autoconf to use the macros in `./aclocal.m4' (see section `Generating configure' in Autoconf).

The purpose of configure is to adapt the source code to your system: for example, the name of the directory header file (`dirent.h' or `sys/dir.h'), whether an install program is available, and so on.

Normally, you do not need to give any options to configure; you cd to the directory with the source code and type `configure'. Exceptions: if `.' is not in your PATH, you must type `./configure'; if you are using a non-Bourne-compatible shell on some old systems, you must samp `sh configure'.

Running configure takes a minute or two. While it is running, it prints some messages that tell what it is doing. If you don't want to see the messages, run configure with its standard output redirected to `/dev/null'; for example, `configure >/dev/null'.

To compile the package in a different directory from the one containing the source code, you must use a variant of Make that supports the VPATH variable, such as GNU Make. cd to the directory where you want the object files and executables to go and run configure with the option `--srcdir=dir', where dir is the directory that contains the source code. Using this option is unnecessary if the source code is in the parent directory of the one in which you are compiling; configure automatically checks for the source code in `..' if it does not find it in `.'.

configure guesses the default installation prefix (we'll call it $(prefix)) by looking for the directory which contains the command gcc, and using its parent. For example, if gcc is installed as `/usr/local/gnu/bin/gcc', $(prefix) will be set to `/usr/local/gnu'.

You can override this default guess for the installation prefix by giving configure the option `--prefix=path'. You can also specify separate installation prefixes for architecture-specific files and architecture-independent files by giving configure the option `--exec_prefix=xpath'. Then xpath will be the prefix for installing programs and libraries. Data files and documentation will still use the regular prefix. Normally, all files are installed using the regular prefix.

You can tell configure to figure out the configuration for your system, and record it in `config.status', without actually configuring the package. To do this, give configure the `--no-create' option. Later, you can run `./config.status' to actually configure the package. This option is useful mainly in `Makefile' rules for updating `config.status' and the `Makefile' itself. You can also give `config.status' the `--recheck' option, which makes it rerun configure with the same arguments you used before. This is useful if you change configure.

configure ignores any other arguments that you give it.

On systems that require unusual options for compilation or linking that the package's configure script does not know about, you can give configure initial values for variables by setting them in the environment. In Bourne-compatible shells, you can do that on the command line like this:

CC='gcc -traditional' LIBS=-lposix sh configure

The Make variables that you might want to override with environment variables when running configure are:

(For these variables, any value given in the environment overrides the value that configure would choose.)

The C compiler program. The default is gcc if that is in your PATH, cc otherwise.
The program to use to install files. The default is install if you have it, cp otherwise.

(For these variables, any value given in the environment is added to the value that configure chooses.)

Configuration options, in the form `-Dfoo -Dbar...'. Packages that use the Autoconf macro AC_CONFIG_HEADER (including the file utilities) do not use this variable.
Libraries to link with, in the form `-lfoo -lbar...'.

Of course, problems requiring manual intervention (e.g., setting these variables) should ideally be fixed by updating either the Autoconf macros or the `configure.in' file for that package.


To compile and use these programs, the following are necessary:

See the section below for information on how to get all these programs.


The canonical source for all GNU software, including the GNU C compiler, GNU make, and Ghostscript, is `prep.ai.mit.edu []:pub/gnu'. That directory is replicated at many other sites around the world, including:

United States:
  wuarchive.wustl.edu   gatekeeper.dec.com:pub/GNU
  uxc.cso.uiuc.edu      ftp.uu.net:packages/gnu
  archive.eu.net        src.doc.ic.ac.uk:gnu    ftp.funet.fi
  nic.funet.fi:pub/gnu  ugle.unit.no            isy.liu.se
  ftp.cs.titech.ac.jp   utsun.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp:ftpsync/prep

You can also order tapes with GNU software from the Free Software Foundation (thereby supporting the development of the font utilities and the rest of the GNU project); send mail to `gnu@prep.ai.mit.edu' for the latest prices and ordering information, or retrieve the file `DISTRIB' from a GNU archive.

The canonical source for the X window system is `export.lcs.mit.edu:pub/R5'. That directory is also shadowed at many other sites, including `gatekeeper.dec.com'. The FSF also sells X distribution tapes.

TeX is more scattered. A complete Unix TeX distribution is available for ftp on the machine `byron.u.washington.edu', or by ordering a tape from the University of Washington (send email to `elisabet@u.washington.edu'. What is on `byron' for ftp is often out-of-date, though.

The canonical sources for just Web2C--the port of just TeX, Metafont, and friends to Unix, without DVI processors, fonts, macro packages, etc.---are:

ftp.cs.umb.edu []:pub/tex/                  (Boston)
ics.uci.edu []:TeX/                          (California)
ftp.th-darmstadt.de []:pub/tex/src/web2c/   (Germany)

At all these sites, the files to retrieve are `web.tar.Z' and `web2c.tar.Z'.

The DVI-to-PostScript driver we recommend is Tom Rokicki's Dvips, and the X window system driver we recommend is Paul Vojta's XDvi. These programs are available from, respectively,


We have modified XDvi and Dvips to use the same path searching code as the current distribution of TeX and these font utilities; the modified versions are available from `ftp.cs.umb.edu:pub/tex'.

To use Metafont, you must have a file defining output devices. (See section Metafont and BZRto.) We recommend you obtain `modes.mf' from


You can retrieve the document describing all the details of the naming scheme for TeX fonts from

ftp.cs.umb.edu []:pub/tex/fontname.tar.Z


This section lists some things which have caused trouble during installation. If you encounter other problems, please send a bug report. See section Bugs, for how to submit a useful bug report.

Good luck.

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