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This HowTo is based on the HowTo for Debian Squeeze. Linux Mint Debian (LMDE) is based on Debian Testing, however. This write-up provides instructions for building Xastir from CVS on LMDE with all supported libraries enabled. It assumes the user already has a working installation of Linux Mint Debian, either on a physical machine or a virtual machine.

It is notable that LMDE is a rolling release, which means that the dependent packages required in order to install Xastir are more subject to change.

If you already installed the binary version

Fyi, the description below originally appeared in one of the Ubuntu HowTo documents. Although I expect it does apply to Linux Mint Debian given there is a Xastir binary in the Debian repositories, I have not tried installing the binary version and then removing it using this procedure.

If you installed a binary version of xastir using the "apt-get install xastir" option (or via Synaptic), you'll have a somewhat outdated version, and it will have installed into /usr instead of /usr/local. The source install described on this page will install into /usr/local, so you'll want to remove your binary install first before following these directions.

If you did a lot of map configuration with the binary install, all of your maps will be in /usr/share/xastir/maps. You'll need to copy those to a safe place before removing the binary install:

    mkdir /tmp/maps
    cp -r /usr/share/xastir/maps/* /tmp/maps

Then remove the binary package:

    sudo apt-get remove xastir

You can then follow the instructions below to re-install xastir to /usr/local from sources. Once you're done, copy your maps back to the new installation directory:

    sudo cp -r /tmp/maps/* /usr/local/share/xastir/maps

Then you need to edit your ~/.xastir/config/xastir.cnf file to change all occurrences of "/usr/share" to "/usr/local/share"

You'll be back in business with a more easily updated xastir.

Preparing the system

I didn't have to do anything to the repository settings after installing Linux Mint Debian.

First, make sure you have a working Debian Squeeze installation. Also check that you can access the Internet. If your installation is very important to you, it is advisable to make a complete backup of your system, just in case something goes wrong.

I recommend updating your installed packages to the latest versions first. This can be done using APT:

  sudo apt-get update

Optionally you can upgrade installed packages with the following command

  sudo apt-get upgrade

If there was a kernel upgrade or something you may want to reboot your system before proceeding.

Start installing packages

  • Get the basic set of build tools:
  sudo apt-get install build-essential

Note: the build-essential package was already installed by default in my system, but it does no harm to issue the command above in order to be sure you have it.

  • Get the libraries essential for building xastir:
  sudo apt-get install cvs autoconf automake lesstif2-dev imagemagick gv libxp-dev libxpm-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev

These packages are required for the most basic minimum build of xastir. gv is not strictly required, but if you don't install it you will be unable to print. Note that this imagemagick package is not the one that gives you on-line map support, it's the one that provides the "convert" utility needed to create the postscript that gv will use to print. This package and gv are both required to be able to print from xastir even with minimal map support.

  • Get additional libraries that will help for extra features:
  sudo apt-get install gpsman gpsmanshp libpcre3-dev proj libproj-dev libdb4.8-dev python-dev libax25-dev 
  sudo apt-get install shapelib libshp-dev festival festival-dev libmagickcore-dev libgeotiff-dev

Get XASTIR source code From the "bleeding edge" CVS repository

In this method, you get your source code directly from the "repository" that the developers use to work on the software. See Notes:CVS for details. Here's the step-by-step method for getting it this way.

  • Prepare your .cvsrc if you don't have one (do this in your home directory)
  ls -l ~/.cvsrc

If the ls command shows that you already have a .cvsrc file in your home directory, skip this next step.

Create a .cvsrc file in a text editor (the nano editor is shown in the example below):

  nano ~/.cvsrc

Enter these commands in the text file:

  cvs -z3
  update -P -d
  status -v
  diff -u

Save and exit your text editor. In nano, control-o saves the file and control-x exits the program.

  • Get the source code per README.CVS or Notes:CVS:

You can make different choices here for where you want to store your code. The example below puts it in a src directory under the home directory:

  mkdir ~/src
  cd ~/src
  cvs login
  cvs co xastir

The "login" line will result in a prompt for a password. Simply hit "Enter" here, as there is no password.

The last command could take a while to finish if you're on a slow link, as there are a lot of files to download.

  • Run bootstrap to generate and configure:
  cd xastir

One More Rarely Used Package

GDAL is an extremely optional package. If you don't want/need GDAL, skip the GDAL installation below. 99% of Users won't need it.

Install GDAL

  • Download the GDAL source

As of this writing, the latest GDAL source can be downloaded like this:

  cd ~/src
  curl -O
  • Unpack GDAL
  tar zxvf gdal-1.8.1.tar.gz
  cd gdal-1.8.1
  • Build and install GDAL:
  make install

The GDAL 'make' step typically takes a long time to complete

Install Xastir

You've now got all the libraries in place and can build the fully enabled code.

  • Configure the code:
  cd ~/src/xastir
  mkdir build
  cd build
  ../configure CPPFLAGS="-I/usr/include/geotiff"

You should be rewarded with a list of features that all say "yes" after them (if everything was done above including installing GDAL).

xastir 2.0.1 has been configured to use the following
options and external libraries:

  ShapeLib (Vector maps) ................. : yes

  GraphicsMagick/ImageMagick (Raster maps) : yes (ImageMagick)
  pcre (Shapefile customization) ......... : yes
  dbfawk (Shapefile customization) ....... : yes
  rtree indexing (Shapefile speedups) .... : yes
  map caching (Raster map speedups) ...... : yes
  internet map retrieval ................. : yes (libcurl)

  AX25 (Linux Kernel I/O Drivers) ........ : yes
  libproj (USGS Topos & Aerial Photos) ... : yes
  GeoTiff (USGS Topos & Aerial Photos) ... : yes
  Festival (Text-to-speech) .............. : yes
  GDAL/OGR (Obtuse map formats) .......... : yes
  GPSMan/gpsmanshp (GPS downloads) ....... : yes

  • Build the code:
    sudo make install
  • Enjoy! You now have a fully functional xastir with all features enabled. You can launch it like this:
    xastir &

The first time Xastir is run it'll pop up a dialog box asking you to set some station parameters.

Additional points

Updating Xastir

The developers are always adding new features to Xastir and fixing bugs. You'll likely want to update your Xastir semi-regularly. Fortunately for you, you don't have to repeat all of the above steps each time. Updating is actually very simple:

    cd ~/src/xastir
    cvs update
    ./configure CPPFLAGS="-I/usr/include/geotiff"
    sudo make install


You have to start the festival server by hand in a shell window before starting xastir.

    festival --server &

Clicking File->Configure->Speech in xastir, I could get it to talk just by clicking the "Test" button in the dialog.