Using Common Sense and Configuration Options

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Troubleshooting Software Installs, and Compiling and Debugging Manually

Sometimes when you try to compile and install a program, it won't work as easily as the examples at the beginning of this chapter. Sometimes it's a matter of the program not being tweaked to run properly on Mac OS X. Sometimes the program is just poorly written. Most often, however, it's because the vast majority of software written for Unix is in a constant state of revision, and minor bugs are introduced, squashed, and often re-created again in some other subroutine, on a regular basis. If you're in no hurry to use the software, don't worry that it doesn't compile. As long as you've obeyed the mantra Never compile or install software as a user with a privileged account, the attempt to compile and run it has done nothing more than occupy some disk space and cause a little frustration. Write to the program's author, let him or her know that something's not right, and it will probably be fixed in a reasonable amount of time.

If you're in a hurry, or are either inquisitive or stubborn, there are some things that you can try to get the software working. A few of these involve updating certain parameters in your environment, and one involves rolling up your sleeves and digging around in the program's guts. If the latter is something you've never imagined doing, don't worry it's your choice! Just remember that as long as you're working in a nonprivileged account, you can't really do much damage the software is already broken; you can't hurt the system. The worst that will happen is you don't improve anything.

This section outlines a few common things to check when an install doesn't seem to work and takes you through an example of what is necessary to fix one particularly troublesome install. Because every problem install is different, we can't give you an exhaustive list of things to look for. Instead, we hope the tour of a problematic install and the example of using the GNU debugger gives you an idea of what to look for and how to solve the problem.

If you find this material too complicated, don't let it bother you. This chapter provides an example of the routes of attack that you can take if you choose to pursue the issue. If you aren't inclined to fight with a recalcitrant install, feel free to skip the rest of this chapter. Nothing in the remainder of the book requires that you be comfortable with the troubleshooting material.

At the end of the chapter, we've provided a short section outlining a number of useful applications that you might like to install at the command line. When possible, we've included copies of the source and compiled binaries of all that we can (copyright restrictions prevent us from distributing some packages because the authors prefer you to download the source from their sites only) at In general, the precompiled software will work for you, but if you want the most current and complete version of a piece of software, it's always best to go to the source and build it yourself.

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    Mac OS X Tiger Unleashed
    Mac OS X Tiger Unleashed
    ISBN: 0672327465
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2005
    Pages: 251 © 2008-2017.
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