Fun with compiling

In a desperate effort to procrastinate today, I’ve been tinkering on the Linux ITS machines seeing if I can supplement their provided software. To this end I’ve attempted to build some decent multimedia apps (vlc and mplayer), update Firefox from 2.0 which was being used, and install Chrome; all in a non-root environment.
Firefox was at least successful (eventually), after sorting out a mountain of dependencies and ensuring that they were all compiled against updated libraries (in particular, various libraries were compiling against old versions of fontconfig which later threw undefined symbol errors for FT_SYMBOL_SIZE). Unfortunately, until/unless I compile KDE for these computers (it’s presently on 3.5), it isn’t possible to compile gtk-qt, so Firefox looks somewhat horrendous on the default theme. KDE4 though… there’s an idea. Instead, I’m using the rather lovely Chromify theme, which hides most of the defects for now.

It’s taken years to get Chrome to start compiling, not least because of the dependency tree that needed sorting. A more trying problem was that Chrome uses SCONS via gyp to set up the development environment. Cruelly, scons uses its own $PATH variable which it determines of its own accord. This meant that all of the dependencies that I’d built into /local/usr weren’t being referenced in the SCONS path. Additionally, editing the scons files themselves with the PATH setting didn’t work because they were regenerated by gyp at each reinitialising of the environment. Eventually after much trial and error I found a workaround in editing the src/build/common.gypi file to include the line:
'ENV': {'PATH': '/custom/path/variable/here'},
Within the scons_variable_settings block for linux.

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3 Responses to Fun with compiling

  1. bencord0 says:

    What happened to mplayer/vlc?

    Normally those two are quite easy to compile from their respective git repositories.

  2. Estel says:

    I believe that both gave similar errors concerning missing codecs of some sort.

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