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Re: Help a beginner please

From: Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso
Subject: Re: Help a beginner please
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2008 18:03:31 -0600

Ryan, please keep the discussion on-list so that others may contribute.

On 04/02/2008, J.A. Ryan <address@hidden> wrote:
> I have Debian/GNU Linux 4 and Octave 2.9 installed.

Ah, I see. Therein lies the problem. The Octave version shipped with
Debian 4 is a little outdated. The Debian Octave Group decided to
freeze Octave 2.9.9 for Debian 4.0 (codename etch) and shipped that
version for Debian's stable release.

Octave 2.9.9 was the last version of Octave to use the old
Octave-forge package mechanism. Instead of doing 'pkg install
foo.tar.gz', just install the monolithic octave2.9-forge package, even
if jwe doesn't like it. ;-)

Octave 2.9.9 is a little old, but serviceable. That's just the way
life is in Debian's stable branch. The alternative is to either do an
etch backport of Octave 3.0 currently in Debian's unstable branch, or
to install Octave 3.0 from source from the official website.

The etch backport is probably easiest. As root or with sudo, depending
on your setup, perform the following steps:

     1) put the line

           deb-src unstable

     in your /etc/apt/sources.list while replacing COUNTRY-CODE with
     the country code of the nearest Debian mirror.

     2) Update your local list of available repositories, satisfy
     octave3.0's build dependencies, download and build octave3.0's source:

         apt-get update
         apt-get build-dep octave3.0
         apt-get -b source octave3.0      #(this one doesn't need root access)

     3) Install the resulting .deb

         dpkg -i octave3.0-VERSION.deb

and you should now have a newer version of Octave installed in your
etch system.

This isn't guaranteed to work. It may be impossible but relatively
unlikely that Octave 3.0's build dependencies can't be satisfied in
etch, or that it can't be built like that inside etch. It does,
however, have high probability of working.

If you do go this route and everything works, you should now be able
to install Octave-forge packages with 'pkg install'.

Hope this helps,
- Jordi G. H.

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