23 February 2012

72. Building maxima from source on Debian Testing

The version of maxima in the debian repos is the same as in the sourceforge archives. There's only one good reason to compile your own version from what I can see -- to get around the dependency of maxima on gnuplot.

Let me explain: the gnuplot version in the debian repos has problems handling small numbers (<10**(-9)). Uninstalling gnuplot and replacing it with your a version you've compiled yourself removes maxima.

Luckily it's easy to build:

wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/maxima/files/latest/download?source=files
mv download\?source\=files maxima-5.26.0.tar.gz
make -j5

where 5 is the number of cores +1 (I have four cores). Change as needed.

sudo checkinstall

Checkinstall may or may not exit successfully if you have compiled your own version of gnuplot -- see below. Chances are that it built the package correctly.


sudo make install

If you get
dpkg: error processing maxima_5.26.0-1_amd64.deb (--install):
trying to overwrite '/usr/local/share/info/dir', which is also in package gnuplot 4.4.4-1
dpkg-deb: error: subprocess paste was killed by signal (Broken pipe)

sudo dpkg --force-overwrite -i maxima_5.26.0-1_amd64.deb

You can see that the dir file is ok (GNUPlot is still referred to):

This is the file .../info/dir, which contains the
topmost node of the Info hierarchy, called (dir)Top.
The first time you invoke Info you start off looking at this node.

File: dir, Node: Top This is the top of the INFO tree
  This (the Directory node) gives a menu of major topics.
  Typing "q" exits, "?" lists all Info commands, "d" returns here,
  "h" gives a primer for first-timers,
  "mEmacs<Return>" visits the Emacs manual, etc.
  In Emacs, you can click mouse button 2 on a menu item or cross reference
  to select it.
* Menu:
* Imaxima: (imaxima).           Image support for the computer algebra system
                                  Maxima. Interactive math minor mode.
* GNUPLOT: (gnuplot).           An Interactive Plotting Program
* Maxima: (maxima).             A computer algebra system.
* Xmaxima: (xmaxima).           Graphical interface for Maxima.

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