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9. How to compile LinFBB's executable files

9.1 fbbsrc.704h (using Red Hat 7.1)


Notice: Until recently, I preferred to download "factory-made" executables in RPM format (something like ZIP in MS Windows world). After getting a RPM package, a click on it activates the program that unpack and install its content. Well, it is great whenever your RPM has been "manufactured" for the very similar distribution of Linux you have. If not ...

9.2 fbbsrc.704j (using Red Hat 7.1)


Notice: The other day I tried to upgrade my Red Hat 7.1 distribution to Red Hat 9.0 - in order to get more up-to-date system, being also capable to be upgraded from its original Netscape 4.76 browser to Netscape 7.1 (In fact, the more newer Netscape I need for other purposes - not related to FBB stuff at all - but I have not succeeded to perform a kind of a 'browser-only' upgrade (In fact, Netscape 7.1 needs newer Glibc and some other things not easily being upgraded within under Red Hat 7.1). That's why I decided to upgrade the complete Linux system - i.e. not just reinstalling it 'from scratch'. The reason for that was I wanted to preserve my old Netscape Messenger email directory tree etc). So, at first, I made cca. 450 MB of free space on my / partition, hoping that would be enough to upgrade. But, RH 9.0's setup asked for even more 400 MB - that I couldn't made. Then I tried to make a 'fresh' installation of RH 9.0 and it also looked that I had better supply a larger hard disk (besides that, it seemed that RH 9.0 performed a bit slower on my system than the old RH 7.1). Finally, I made a decision to re-install RH 7.1 again.

After I did it, one of the first tasks to do was to install LinFBB. I took some browsing in order to find something newer than that fbbsrc.704h and I've got fbbsrc.704j tarball from

9.3 fbbsrc.704j (using Red Hat 9.0)


Notice: Although I managed to compile all parts of the newest LinFBB version, I was not so happy because my Linux platform was still the old one: Red Hat 7.1 and I wanted to have 9.0 version. That's why I started planning what to do with the things intended to be backup-ed before the another fresh installation of Linux. The main trouble were the existing Netscape 4.76 email folders, because it was obvious that the 4.76 directory structure greatly differ from Netscape 7.1 folder tree. In fact, a user of Netscape 4.76 email only has to make a backup copy of the hidden .nsmail directory that, in turn, has to be restored into the same location after the eventual next re-installation of the Red Hat 7.1 distribution. That is a simple task to do. But, the problem with newer Netscape 7.1 was that it has the different directory tree when compared to its predecessor, in addition to a slightly changed email structure. In fact, I tried to use Netscape 4.76's .nsmail directory with the fresh Netscape 7.1 installation and that just didn't want to run properly. Than I looked for another way to accomplish that task and here is how I did it.

I already knew that Netscape and Mozilla software (in particular the newer one versions of them) converge in a way they seem to use a similar or the very same "engine" as well as the directory structure. Having in mind that the newer Red Hat 9.0 distribution have not offered any version of Netscape software at all and that Mozilla packages remained in the newer Red Hat's - I decided to perform the following steps:

1. to make a simple upgrade from Red Hat 7.1 to Red Hat 9.0 (in order to keep the original Netscape's 4.76 .nsmail directory structure intact, but to get an up-to-dated version of Mozilla which comes with this particular Red Hat upgrade and that is the same as Mozilla after the 'fresh' installation of RH 9.0);

2. to make an import of the existing email from Netscape 4.76 to Mozilla (interestingly, the new Mozilla only supports an import from a "Netscape 4.x");

3. to make a backup copy of the new Mozilla's directory structure;

4. to make a 'fresh' installation of Red Hat 9.0 (in order to ensure the stable environment that, in turn, will also have the same new Mozilla);

5. to make a 'restore' of Mozilla's directory structure (previously backup-ed);

6. to install the new Netscape 7.1 that, as mentioned, will use the same directory structure as the new Mozilla;

7. to have a choice: to run either Netscape or Mozilla (if you get bored from either of them :-)).

Well, these steps were the nice mental exercise, but finally I got them all running as I wanted. After I got sure that the Internet email and browsing capabilities of my new Red Hat 9.0 became OK, I got to the beginning of LinFBB installation procedure. Now I am not going to repeat the items from the previous LinFBB sub-section, but what I would like to say is that the step 4. (a couple of paragraphs above) have not brought some X Window development packages, needed for compiling of xfbbX. I mean, once again I managed to compile xfbbd and xfbbC without problems, but a make of xfbbX haven't produced the result I expected. In fact, it returned something like this:

[root@localhost X11]# make
gcc -Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -O2 -g -funsigned-char  ...
In file included from ../../include/xfbb.h:34,


xfbbabtd.c: In function `DisplayInfoDialog':
xfbbabtd.c:428: warning: comparison between pointer and integer
make: *** [xfbbabtd.o] Error 1
[root@localhost X11]#

I was advised by the friendly FBB-hams that obviously something of the X Window development stuff have been missing, so I started to explore the RPM's I already have installed:

[root@localhost root]# rpm -qa *lesst*
[root@localhost root]#

      lesstif-devel-0.93.36-3.i386.rpm required 
      XFree86-devel and lesstif = 0.93.36

      XFree86-devel-4.3.0-2.i386.rpm required
      fontconfig-devel and pkgconfig

      fontconfig-devel-2.1-9.i386.rpm required
      freetype-devel >= 2.1.2-7

What remains to be explored (at least for me) is to see how to maintain various sysop's tasks (ex. how to execute 'housekeeping' mechanism by a mouse click or like) - from within xfbbX. Any suggestion is welcomed (it may also be a contribution for the next release of this mini-HOWTO, hams!).

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