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Tools needed to install GAP from source

Installing the GAP distribution with all the packages and full data libraries from source code (as opposed to via e.g. the Windows binary installed for GAP) requires a working C and C++ development environment on your system aa well as GNU make. You will also need either the GMP library or the m4 macro processor; most, but not all standard development environments include this. Furthermore, if the GNU readline library is detected on your system at compile time, it will be used for command line editing.

On Mac OS X, you need to install the Apple developer tools. These can be obtained as part of Apple's "Xcode" application, free of charge via the Mac App Store or via If you are on Mac OS X 10.7 or later, then after downloading and installing Xcode, you need to perform one extra step: launch Xcode, then open its Preferences dialog, and go to the "Downloads" pane. You will be presented with an optional list of extra components. From there, install the "Command Line tools" component. For Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier, some (possibly already outdated) version of Xcode may be contained on your Mac OS X Installer DVD.

Since Windows binaries for GAP and some packages are contained in the archive and GAP installer for Windows, you do not need to install any additional tools for Windows. However, if you want to try to build binaries for more packages, you may install Cygwin to get a UNIX environment for Windows, selecting all needed tools during Cygwin installation.

To install development tools on a Linux system, use your preferred package manager (e.g. apt-get or aptitude or Synaptic etc.). For example, on Ubuntu or Debian we suggest that you call

  sudo apt-get install build-essential autoconf libtool libgmp-dev libreadline-dev zlib1g-dev
before calling >configure in the GAP root directory.

To get maximum benefit from GAP and from various packages it may be useful to install a number of other free software libraries (and their associated development tools) although they are not required for basic operation. For example,

needs the ncurses library (e.g. libncurses5-dev and libncursesw5-dev);
needs some version of awk (e.g. gawk or mawk);
may need wget;
requires the following X11 libraries: libXaw, libXmu, libXt, libXext, libX11, libSM, and libICE (e.g. libx11-dev, libxaw7-dev, libxt-dev which possibly aready install the other four libxmu-dev, libxext-dev, libsm-dev, libice-dev);
Other packages not listed here may have additional requirements listed in their documentation.