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Note: the text below should be identical to the contents of INSTALL.CYGWIN in 
the FriCAS distribution.

These instructions show you how to build FriCAS on MS Windows from the sources
in the subversion repository.  You may want to consider building FriCAS from a
distribution tarball instead, which contains pregenerated algebra Lisp,
HyperDoc pages and graphic examples.  Moreover, using the tarball the build is
much faster - a few minutes instead of a few hours.  You can get a tarball via

First of all, do not be afraid!  The instructions below probably look more
intimidating than they really should be.  In case something goes wrong, do not
hesitate to ask at fricas-devel@googlegroups.com.

To compile FriCAS on MS Windows, we proceed as follows:

I) If you do not have cygwin installed, go to


   Look for a link called setup.exe and save it to disk.

II) Start cygwin's setup program.  The first few questions can be answered with
    the default values, until you get to the "Select Packages" dialog.

    Clicking on a little + will expand the list of packages. You should select
    apart from the defaults the following:

    (DISCLAIMER: this list is likely to be overkill.  Also note that selecting
    will also select many packages they depend on, this should happen

           In Devel: gcc-mingw
           In Math:    clisp
           In Publishing: psutils
           In Web: wget
           In X11: xterm
optional   In Editors: emacs
(see V)                emacs-X11

    Complete the cygwin installation process.

III) start cygwin - a black console window should appear

  find a place to build FriCAS.

  cd /cygdrive/c
  mkdir scratch
  cd scratch

    (it is essential that the path to scratch does not contain any spaces.
    Otherwise the build won't work...)

IV) follow the instructions in INSTALL (but note that we are going to build
    FriCAS using clisp), that is:

    1) Fetch sources:

  svn co https://fricas.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/fricas/trunk fricas

    2) Fetch nonstandard prerequisites:

  cd fricas
  mkdir zips
  cd zips
  wget https://axiom.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/axiom/trunk/axiom/zips/noweb-2.10a.tgz

    or, if this doesn't work:

  wget --no-check-certificate https://axiom.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/axiom/trunk/axiom/zips/noweb-2.10a.tgz

    3) create the build directory (again: without spaces!)

  cd ../..
  mkdir ax-build
  cd ax-build
    4) configure.  Possibly, you will have to restrict the PATH to Cygwin
        programs, because otherwise configure may pick, for example, Borland
        grep which causes failure later.  You can do this by typing

  export PATH=/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/X11R6/bin

  ../fricas/configure --with-lisp=clisp

    5) build and install:


    make will very likely fail with an error like

      mkdir /dev/null 2>/dev/null
      make[1]: [install-elisp] Error 1 (ignored)
      cp elisp/noweb-mode.el /dev/null
      cp: cannot create regular file `/dev/null': Invalid request code
      make[1]: *** [install-elisp] Error 1
      make[1]: Leaving directory `/cygdrive/c/scratch/ax-build/noweb/src'
      make: *** [stamp-noweb] Error 2

    we ignore this error (which occurs because the ELISP environment variable
    is set to /dev/null)

  touch stamp-noweb

     6) make the graphics examples:

        IMPORTANT NOTE: this step failed when I tried.  After the first drawing
        appeared and disappeared, it did not continue.  The example graphics
        are in no way essential though and can be easily reproduced in the
        installed system.

     6a) start X:

  sh /usr/X11R6/bin/startxwin.sh

        a new (white) console should appear

     6b) run the examples

  cd /cygwin/c/scratch/ax-build/src/paste
  make gphts

        at this point (which will take a while), graphics should appear and

  cd ../..

     7) install

  make install

V) you may want to install the emacs mode coming with FriCAS.  In this case you
   need to:

     1) start cygwin's setup program again and select the packages:

           In Editors: emacs

     2) install the emacs mode and a startup script:

  cd /cygwin/c/scratch/fricas/contrib/emacs
  cp fricas*.el /usr/share/emacs/site-lisp
  cp efricas /usr/bin

     4) if you installed the startup script, you can start FriCAS now with

  sh /usr/X11R6/bin/startxwin.sh

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