MIT OpenCourseWare
  • OCW home
  • Course List
  • about OCW
  • Help
  • Feedback
  • Support MIT OCW


Scheme Mechanics System Installation for GNU/Linux

Installation on GNU/Linux (requires root access)

All files will be installed in the subdirectory structure /usr/local/scmutils. The mechanics system has several parts:

  • One part is the Scheme system itself. We provide a Scheme system as part of this distribution. It will install itself so as to not interfere with any other Scheme you may currently have. The installation will install a script named mechanics in /usr/local/bin that invokes the Scheme system that runs the mechanics system.
  • The other part is for Scmutils, the numerical and algebraic packages, written in Scheme, that we will use for the mechanics work.

The installed system requires about 34 Megabytes of disk space. Before downloading the tar file, be sure you have at least 55 Megabytes free on /usr/local.

Installation instructions:

  1. Download the system (a TAR file, compressed with gzip) into a temporary directory of your choice. This file is about 17 megabytes long. Let's assume that you put the file into /tmp/scmutils-20020809-ix86-gnu-linux.tar.gz
  2. Be sure you are logged in with root privileges. If your system does not have a directory /usr/local, you will need to create one. Then execute the command lines:
    cd /usr/local
    tar -xvzf /tmp/scmutils-20020809-ix86-gnu-linux.tar.gz
  3. The command line to start the Scheme mechanics system is
    (If /usr/local/bin is on your search path you need not specify the whole path.)
  4. If everything seems to work you can now remove the tar file:
    rm /tmp/scmutils-20020809-ix86-gnu-linux.tar.gz

Note: We have tested this Scheme system under Debian GNU/Linux version 3.0 and Linux kernels in the 2.2.x and 2.4.x series. The binaries depend on GNU libc version 2.2 (also known as Linux libc version 6). It will not run on a system that uses older libc versions, which includes any distribution older than about one year. In that case, you should follow the directions here to replace the scmutils/mit-scheme/bin/scheme and scmutils/mit-scheme/bin/bchscheme files. You may ask for help if you run into problems, but please try the above procedure first.

Instructions for using the system can be found here (PDF).

A draft reference manual describing many parts of the system can be found here (PDF).

Rudimentary instructions for graphing can be found here (PDF).

These documents are included in the /usr/local/scmutils/manual/ subdirectory that will be unpacked with the tar file. Scheme sources for the entire system are included in the /usr/local/scmutils/src/ subdirectory.

Note that this is all free software, as defined by the GNU General Public License. Also, this is all software developed for education and research at MIT. This code is not carefully tested so it may have errors. We hope that it can help you, but we make no warranty.