Building and Installing Chicken Scheme 5.3.0rc3 on macOS Big Sur#

Chicken Scheme 5.3.0 release candidate 3 has been announced. I had some trouble installing it on my macOS Big Sur 11.6 work machine. The reason seems to be that Makefile.macosx has some hard-coded paths for XCode and other macOS related command line tools. It looks like in recent macOS versions these things are not on the path they used to be in the past, and thus the problems.

The solution is to override a few default Makefile.macosx path variables so that they point to the correct locations of make, gcc and ar programs on the system.

Thanks to Mario Domenech Goulart for always helping out with these things over IRC <3.

For the short version see the TL;DR section below.

Downloading and Unpacking the Source#

$ mkdir -pv ~/local/build
$ cd !$
$ wget https://code.call-cc.org/dev-snapshots/2021/09/20/chicken-5.3.0rc3.tar.gz
$ tar zxvf chicken-5.3.0rc3.tar.gz
$ cd chicken-5.3.0rc3

Installing GNU Make and GCC#

According to the README, ompiling Chicken Scheme requires GNU Make. I’ll also use GCC instead of the default compiler bundled with XCode command line tools.

Note

brew installs stuff in /usr/local/Cellar/ and then makes aliases to /usr/local/opt/. When customizing PATH we should point to /usr/local/opt/<program>

Installing GNU Make#

$ brew install make

It’ll print some information like:

GNU "make" has been installed as "gmake".
If you need to use it as "make", you can add a "gnubin" directory
to your PATH from your bashrc like:

  PATH="/usr/local/opt/make/libexec/gnubin:$PATH"

This way, we can invoke make and it will be our GNU make, not the BSD make bundled with macOS. After the setup, check with this command:

$ make --version
GNU Make 3.81
Copyright (C) 2006  Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.
There is NO warranty; not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

This program built for i386-apple-darwin11.3.0

Installing GNU GCC#

$ brew install gcc

One caveat is that we do not have this newly installed gcc as a gcc command. If you do gcc<Tab><Tab> (no space before hitting <Tab>), you’ll see a few different gcc commands.

On my machine, gcc is /usr/bin/gcc (a Clang, XCode-setup thing), and gcc-11 is /usr/local/opt/gcc/gcc-11. We should also add it to the path:

PATH="/usr/local/opt/gcc/bin:$PATH"
$ which gcc
/usr/bin/gcc

$ which gcc-11
/usr/local/opt/gcc/bin/gcc-11

Trying to Compile#

The build instructions are very simple. With GNU make available, simply run:

$ make \
    PLATFORM=macosx \
    PREFIX=$HOME/local/bin/chicken-5.3.0rc3 \
    --jobs

But the build stops with errors like this:

make: /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer/usr/bin/gcc: No such file or directory

And if we look at Makefile.macosx, we see:

XCODE_DEVELOPER ?= /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer
XCODE_TOOL_PATH ?= $(XCODE_DEVELOPER)/Toolchains/XcodeDefault.xctoolchain/usr/bin
C_COMPILER ?= $(XCODE_DEVELOPER)/usr/bin/gcc
ARCH ?= $(shell sh $(SRCDIR)/config-arch.sh)

If we look for information on gcc

$ gcc --version
Configured with:
  --prefix=/Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/usr
  --with-gxx-include-dir=/Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/SDKs/MacOSX.sdk/usr/include/c++/4.2.1
Apple clang version 13.0.0 (clang-1300.0.29.3)
Target: x86_64-apple-darwin20.6.0
Thread model: posix
InstalledDir: /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/usr/bin

$ which gcc
/usr/bin/gcc

So, Makefile.macosx``is making the compilation process look for ``gcc in the wrong place.

Compiling With Appropriate Paths#

From the previous inspections we now know that we have gcc in /usr/bin/gcc and also gcc-11 in /usr/local/opt/gcc/bin/gcc-11

Let’s tell make to use gcc-11:

$ make \
    C_COMPILER=/usr/local/opt/gcc/bin/gcc-11 \
    PLATFORM=macosx \
    PREFIX=$HOME/local/bin/chicken-5.3.0rc3 \
    --jobs

The compilation now gets performed correctly! But we end up with another error:

make:
/Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer/Toolchains/XcodeDefault.xctoolchain/usr/bin/ar:
No such file or directory

Again, the problem is the path of the command line tools. We need to tell make where this ar (from man ar: “create and maintain library archives”) program is located:

$ which ar
/usr/bin/ar

Finally, if we run this command, it should work:

$ make \
    C_COMPILER=/usr/local/opt/gcc/bin/gcc-11 \
    XCODE_TOOL_PATH=/usr/bin \
    PLATFORM=macosx \
    PREFIX=$HOME/local/bin/chicken-5.3.0rc3 \
    --jobs

Installing The Built Files#

Finally, install the files to a directory like ~/local/bin/chicken-5.3.0rc3:

$ make \
    XCODE_TOOL_PATH=/usr/bin \
    PREFIX="$HOME/local/bin/chicken-5.3.0rc3" \
    install

These are the Chicken-related command line tools installed:

 $ tree -CFa ~/local/bin/chicken-5.3.0rc3/bin/
~/local/bin/chicken-5.3.0rc3/bin/
├── chicken*
├── chicken-do*
├── chicken-install*
├── chicken-profile*
├── chicken-status*
├── chicken-uninstall*
├── csc*
├── csi*
└── feathers*

It is a good idea to also add these command line programs to the PATH. For most shells, a line like this on the shell’s startup rc file would work:

export PATH="$HOME/local/bin/chicken-5.3.0rc3/bin:$PATH"

Restart your terminal or source the rc file and you should have all those chicken-related commands available:

$ which csi
/Users/<you>/local/bin/chicken-5.3.0rc3/bin/csi

$ which chicken-install
/Users/<you>/local/bin/chicken-5.3.0rc3/bin/chicken-install

TL;DR#

Install GNU Make, GCC, and compile and install Chicken Scheme overriding some path-related variables from Makefile.macosx:

$ brew isntall make gcc

$ mkdir -pv ~/local/build
$ cd !$
$ wget https://code.call-cc.org/dev-snapshots/2021/09/20/chicken-5.3.0rc3.tar.gz
$ tar zxvf chicken-5.3.0rc3.tar.gz
$ cd chicken-5.3.0rc3

$ make \
   C_COMPILER=/usr/local/opt/gcc/bin/gcc-11 \
   XCODE_TOOL_PATH=/usr/bin \
   PLATFORM=macosx \
   PREFIX=$HOME/local/bin/chicken-5.3.0rc3 \
   --jobs

$ make \
   XCODE_TOOL_PATH=/usr/bin \
   PLATFORM=macosx \
   PREFIX=$HOME/local/bin/chicken-5.3.0rc3 \
   install

$ cp -v ~/.bashrc{,bkp}

$ printf \
    '%s\n' \
    'export PATH="$HOME/local/bin/chicken-5.3.0rc3/bin:$PATH"' \
    >> ~/.bashrc

$ source ~/.bashrc

$ printf %s "$PATH" | sed 's/:/\n/g' | grep chicken
/Users/<you>/local/bin/chicken-5.3.0rc3/bin

$ csi -help

😅


Page last updated on <2021-09-25 Sat 10:55>.