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This file contains:
- Build requirements for GNU Midnight Commander
- Installation instructions for GNU Midnight Commander
- Where to get more information on GNU Midnight Commander
- Notes about GNU Midnight Commander installation
- Obtaining related software
Build requirements for GNU Midnight Commander
- glibc
- gcc
- make
- autoconf >= 2.64
- automake >= 1.12
- libtool
- glib2 >= 2.30
- slang2 or ncurses
- gettext >= 0.18.2
- libssh2 >= 1.2.8 is required only for sftp vfs
- libaspell to support spell checking in the internal editor
- ext2fs >= 1.42.4 to support ext{2,3,4}fs extended attributes
Installation instructions for GNU Midnight Commander
The `configure' shell script attempts to guess correct values for
various system-dependent variables used during compilation, and creates
the makefiles.  It also creates a file `config.status' that you can run
in the future to recreate the current configuration.
To compile this package:
1.  Configure the package for your system.
Normally, you just `cd' to the directory containing the package's source
code and type `./configure'.  If you're using `csh' on an old version of
SystemV, you might need to type `sh configure' instead to prevent `csh'
from trying to execute `configure' itself.  Under AIX, you may need to
use ksh instead of sh.
Running `configure' takes a while.  While it is running, it prints some
messages that tell what it is doing.  If you don't want to see any
messages, run `configure' with the `--quiet' option.
To compile the package in a different directory than the one containing
the source code, you must use a version of `make' supporting the `VPATH'
variable, such as GNU `make'.  Change to the directory where you want
the object files and executables to go and run the `configure' script
with the full path.  If for some reason `configure' cannot find the
source code directory, run `configure' with the option `--srcdir=DIR',
where DIR is the directory that contains the source code.
By default, `make install' will install the package's files in
`/usr/local/bin', `/usr/local/man', etc.  You can specify an
installation prefix other than `/usr/local' by giving `configure' the
option `--prefix=PATH'.
You can specify separate installation prefixes for architecture specific
files and architecture-independent files.  If you give `configure' the
option `--exec-prefix=PATH', the package will use PATH as the prefix for
installing binary programs and libraries.  Data files and documentation
will still use the regular prefix.  Normally, all files are installed
using the same prefix.
If compiled on GNU/Linux, Midnight Commander detects if you have the gpm
library installed.  If you installed the gpm mouse library in a
non-standard place, you will need to use the --with-gpm-mouse flag with
the directory base where you installed the gpm package.
`configure' recognizes the following options (the list may be
incomplete, use `configure --help' to get the full list):
     Print a summary of the options to `configure' and exit.
     Do not print messages saying which checks are being made.
     Print the version of Autoconf used to generate the `configure'
     script, and exit.
     Configure GNU Midnight Commander to be compiled without the
     built-in file editor.  The built-in editor is compiled in by
     This option adds spell check support in the internal editor using
     libaspell. Disabled by default.
     Use this flag to disable gpm mouse support (e.g. if you want to
     use mouse only on X terminals).
     Force linking against glib statically.  This option is intended for
     building binaries for distribution purposes and may not work on
     some operating systems.
`--with-mmap', `--without-mmap'
     Force using or not using the mmap function.  It is currently used
     in the internal viewer.  `--with-mmap' may be useful on some
     versions of AIX where the `configure' script decides that mmap is
     broken, but it's actually suitable for the internal viewer.
`--with-subshell[=optional]', `--without-subshell' 
     The subshell support is by default turned on, you can disable
     this by using the --without-subshell option.  If you pass the
     =optional parameter, then the subshell support is turned off by
     default.  To turn it on, specify the `-U' option to the program.
     By default, the Midnight Commander tries to connect to the X Window
     System events to query the status of the keyboard modifiers, such
     as Control, Shift and Alt, when invoked in a terminal emulator
     under X11.  This is necessary (but not always sufficient) to
     recognize some optional but handy key combinations like Ctrl-Home
     and Shift-Cursor keys.  Use `--without-x' if the dependency on
     X11 libraries is not desired.
     This option disables support for large files (2 gigabytes and more)
     on the systems where file operations use 32-bit offsets by default,
     but support for 64-bit offsets is available.  May be useful for
     slow processors and embedded systems.
     This option adds support for selecting character set of the text in
     the internal viewer and editor and converting it on the fly.  The
     implementation of this option is currently incomplete.
     This option disables support for background operations.  Background
     operations allow to perform some tasks such as copying files in a
     separate background process.  Any messages from the background
     process are forwarded to the foreground process.  More advanced
     dialogs cannot be forwarded yet, so the background process uses the
     default.  Background code is known to be less stable than the rest
     of the code, so you may want to disable it at the compile time.
     This option allow users  to place user config directories in any
     place. By default value is 'XDG', this mean, mc will respect XDG
     standards. If other value is specified, this will used as directory
     name (relative to $HOME if path is relative, or as is if path is
VFS options:
- - - - - -
     This option disables the Virtual File System switch code in the
     Midnight Commander and uses the standard file system calls for
     file access.  If you specify this option, you won't get the
     transparent access to archives and remote directories.
     (on by default)
     Support for cpio filesystem
     (on by default)
     Support for tar filesystem
     (on by default)
     Support for FTP vfs
     (on by default)
     Support for FISH vfs
     Support for SFTP vfs
     (on by default)
     Support for extfs
     (on by default)
     Support for sfs
     (off by default)
     Support for ext2 undelete filesystem.
     On systems that use the ext2 or ext3 file system and have the
     libext2fs library available, this option adds support for
     recovering deleted files (the undel virtual file system).
Screen library:
- - - - - - - -
You may also tell configure which screen library you want to use with
the Midnight Commander.  The configure script will use S-Lang as
default, and prefers an already installed S-Lang library over the
included one, but you can override this by using the following flag
(please note that since S-Lang is default, it is tested better than
     Choose the library used to manage interaction with the terminal.
     `slang' means S-Lang library already installed on the system,
     `ncurses' means ncurses library already installed on the system.
     The S-Lang library is used by default if found.
     Set path to ncurses includes [default=/usr/include]; make
     sense only if --with-screen=ncurses is used;
     for /usr/local/include/ncurses specify /usr/local/include.
     Set path to ncurses library [default=/usr/lib]; make sense
     only if --with-screen=ncurses is used.
Compiler options:
- - - - - - - - -
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 placing them in the command
./configure CC='gcc -traditional' LIBS=-lposix
Here are the variables that you might want to override when running
 - Variable: CC
     C compiler program.  The default is `gcc' if found, otherwise `cc'.
 - Variable: CFLAGS
     The default flags used to build the program.
 - Variable: INSTALL
     Program to use to install files.  The default is `install' if you
     have it, `cp' otherwise.
For these variables, any value given in the command line is added to the
value that `configure' decides to use:
 - Variable: LIBS
     Libraries to link with, in the form `-lfoo -lbar...'.
 - Variable: LDFLAGS
     Linker flags, e.g. -L<lib dir> if you have libraries in a
     nonstandard directory <lib dir>
 - Variable: CPPFLAGS
     C/C++ preprocessor flags, e.g. -I<include dir> if you have
     headers in a nonstandard directory <include dir>
If you need to do unusual things to compile the package, we encourage
you to figure out how `configure' could check whether to do them, and
mail diffs or instructions to the address given in the README so we can
include them in the next release.
2.  Type `make' to compile the package.
3.  Type `make install' to install programs, data files, and the
documentation.  On GNU/Linux the console screen saver is installed as
4.  You can remove the program binaries and object files from the source
directory by typing `make clean'.  If you want to clean the source tree
completely, so that it contains only those files that should be packaged
in the archive, issue `make distclean'.  If you've run configure in a
different directory than the source tree, distclean won't remove your
*.o and linked programs in that directory.
5.  GNU Midnight Commander allows you to stay in the last current
directory after exiting MC.  This is done with a shell function, the man
page has more information about this.
The file `' is used to create `configure' by a program
called `autoconf'.  You only need it if you want to regenerate
`configure' using a newer version of `autoconf'.
Where to get more information on GNU Midnight Commander
There are two mailing lists for the program:        Discussion on GNU Midnight Commander file manager.  Discussion between the developers of the program.
To subscribe to the mailing lists, visit their respective pages:
Notes about GNU Midnight Commander installation
GNU Midnight Commander has been run in the following configurations:
powerpc-ibm-aix5.3.0.0 (IBM XL C, IBM XL C/C++)
Midnight Commander is written in a portable manner and uses GNU Autoconf
for configuration, so it is expected to compile without changes on many
other operating systems.
You will need an ANSI C Compiler (such as GCC) and glib library to
compile the source.  GNU Midnight Commander now comes with the S-Lang
screen manager, a fast screen manager, but you may want to use the
already installed S-Lang or ncurses library.
If you insist on using ncurses, it's recommended to use ncurses 4.1 and
above, since the older versions don't support resizing in the xterm
GNU Midnight Commander comes with the mouse support on xterms and in the
Linux console.  In order to take advantage of the mouse support on the
Linux console you will need the gpm mouse server (see the section
"Obtaining related software" in this file).
Once you get gpm, compile it and install it, then you will have to
specify the `--with-gpm-mouse' flag to the configure program if you
installed it in a non-standard directory.  If you installed the gpm
package under /usr or /usr/local, you don't need to specify this flag;
configure will find gpm for you.  The support for mice on xterms is
always compiled in.
We are working on further enhancements to the program, but we're not
sure which ones must go first.  If you would like to point us in the
Right Direction we will be glad to hear from you.
If you happen to find a feature that doesn't do what you expect, please
write to telling as much as you can about the problem
you're experiencing.  Please don't send personal messages to the
Obtaining related software
The only "hard" dependency of GNU Midnight Commander is glib.  You can
get glib from
Minimal version of glib: 2.30.0
Recommended version: 2.30.x and higher.
Newer versions may work, but haven't been tested.
If the version of glib you have installed is older than 2.14.x, then you
also need to install PCRE library.
You can get PCRE from
Terminal database
There are many incomplete terminal databases out there, however, a
complete terminfo is bundled with ncurses.  (It is simple to generate
the termcap database using the infocmp utility in ncurses).
Some terminfo data are included with the mc distribution (lib/*.ti).
Particularly linux, xterm and vt100. Use e.g. ''tic linux.ti'' to use
If you want to run mc on xterm/color_xterm/ansi_xterm (not rxvt), then
you might read lib/README.xterm for further information.
Screen libraries
GNU Midnight Commander can use the included version of S-Lang, but you
can get the latest version here:
Alternatively, you can use ncurses:
Mouse support
The general purpose mouse (gpm) daemon is available from
If your C compiler is not powerful enough to compile GNU Midnight
Commander, you should report is as a bug to the GNU Midnight Commander
team.  Sometimes there is no solution than upgrading to a modern and
free compiler - GCC (Compiler Collection):
Currently you can not use gcc 4.2.4 (and probably other versions) on
AIX to compile the S-Lang version. Please use IBM XL C or IBM XL C/C++
If you compile a ncurses version you need to set TERM=dtterm to get
working color support. Furthermore it is important to specify the
--with-ncurses-includes/--with-ncurses-lib parameters because otherwise
mc will pick up term.h from AIX which does not work with the ncurses
The AIX S-Lang build was tested with S-Lang 2.0.7. Later versions may
also work but are not tested yet.
Here is an example for S-Lang, it is assumed that the S-Lang library
is installed under /user/local and that you also want want to install
to /usr/local:
  export CC=cc_r
  export CXX=xlC_r
  export CONFIG_SHELL=/usr/bin/bash (if installed)
  export SHELL=/usr/bin/bash        (if installed)
  ./configure \
     --prefix=/usr/local \

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