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Location: GUIs > Apple > Apple A/UX

Hardcore UNIX stuff:

All right, let's really go nuts, and try compiling some generic UNIX software. I mean, I have all these lovely obsolete development tools... it would really be a shame to waste them. Thus the saga begins:
A/UX Compiler
Okay, I downloaded the source code to Tinyfugue, a common MUD client, to the Linux box since it has nicer FTP software, sucked it to the Mac via its not-so-nice FTP, and unpacked it. What's slightly interesting about the operation is how I was able to find the URL using the Mac OS Netscape, paste it into Linux command line for downloading, and then use A/UX to gunzip and untar it. Those who fear UNIX really don't understand how easy it is tie all sorts of loose ends together with it, once you know a few basic principles.

Anyway. The configure script seems to be going all right, although it does note that A/UX is not POSIX compliant, at least so far as it's concerned, and that the Apple C compiler isn't ANSI standard. Well, it makes it through several modules, and then, fooomf. It's not a severe error, and I might be able to make it happy by changing the format of the source code line, but...

I've downloaded GNU gcc-2.7.2 for A/UX already, so I'll install it:

A/UX Compiling
Okay, this install script took a *long* time to run. It had to pick through every include file on the system and slightly modify them to comply with its standards. Of course, the script died 98% through because it couldn't find a file. I growled, figured where I could copy the file so it would see it, and tried again. This time it went. So...
A/UX Compiling
Now it's compiling with gcc. Well, I wish this was the happy ending, but not quite. The compile fell down during the linking stage, because something about A/UX's termio.h include wasn't quite kosher enough to make it work. Tinyfugue does some semi-fancy terminal manipulation, so I suppose I should of expected it. However, to give it one last chance, I downloaded an older 3.x version of the program, and sicced A/UX on it.

The result?:

A/UX Tinyfugue
Whoohoo! Okay, it seems like a lot of work, when I could just run Tinyfugue in a terminal on the remote Linux box, but, hey, that would be missing the point. Really, this wasn't that bad. I've had worse times making things compile on Solaris. Admittedly, they were more complicated things, but it's the thought that counts.

After a bit more experimentation, I can say that for simple text-only UNIX programs, it doesn't seem to be too hard to get them to go on A/UX. Those that won't go with the Apple compiler sometimes will if you modify the Makefile to use gcc instead. X programs seem to be tougher. X11R4, the version that comes with A/UX is really quite out of date. Perhaps the patched X11R5 libraries available for it would slightly improve things.

Honest truth of all this is of course that if you want to compile software without fuss, nothing beats a nice bloated I-installed-every-concievable-library Linux box. A/UX doesn't seem to be much worse then other ancient Unixes featurewise, but most Unixes as ancient as A/UX were either more popular or were updated more recently, so they're somewhat more likely to be a known configure target.