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Prerequisites for Debian based systems (Ubuntu, Mint, ...)

Use the following commands to obtain all dependencies for a full build from source. Note that there are no known version dependencies on any of these packages. If your (debian-based) distribution is lacking any of these package use apt-cache search <name> to find an alternative, where <name> is e.g., libunwind (i.e., remove version and details). Some remarks:

  • ninja-build may be dropped, building using make.
  • It is possible to use iodbc instead of unixodbc for ODBC connectivity.
  • The SWI-Prolog Java interface (JPL) works with many Java development kits, not only openjdk-8-jdk.
  • The package libarchive-dev is needed for library(archive), which is needed by pack_install/1.
  • The package libossp-uuid-dev is needed for library(uuid).
  • The package libdb-dev is needed for library(bdb), the BerkeleyDB embedded database interface.
  • The package libreadline-dev and libedit-dev both provide command line editing for interactive usage. None is strictly needed and one of them suffices. libedit-dev is the preferred command line editor.
  • libunwind only simplifies debugging in case of a system crash.
  • cmake must be at least version 3.5 See CMAKE.md
sudo apt-get install \
        build-essential cmake ninja-build pkg-config \
        ncurses-dev libreadline-dev libedit-dev \
        libunwind-dev \
        libgmp-dev \
        libssl-dev \
        unixodbc-dev \
        zlib1g-dev libarchive-dev \
        libossp-uuid-dev \
        libxext-dev libice-dev libjpeg-dev libxinerama-dev libxft-dev \
        libxpm-dev libxt-dev \
        libdb-dev \
        libpcre3-dev \
        libyaml-dev \
        openjdk-8-jdk junit

Note that older Debian based distributions, including the Debian stable (Squeeze (6.0)) ship with libunwind7-dev instead of libunwind-dev.

Raspbian does not have libunwind. Just leave it out. All other packages are available. SWI-Prolog versions 7.3.x require gcc 4.8 or later, provided by Raspbian GNU/Linux 8.0 (jessie). Total build time on a Raspberry pi model 2, including all packages is 22 minutes. If you want to reduce resources, the following packages are optional:

openjdk-8-jdk junit
Without you do not have Java connectivity (JPL)
libxext-dev libice-dev libjpeg-dev libxinerama-dev libxft-dev libxpm-dev libxt-dev
Without these xpce will not be built and the graphical IDE tools are not available.
Without, you have no ODBC database connectivity (e.g., MySQL)
Without, you have no SSL (and HTTPS) support.
Without, you lack unbounded integer support, rational numbers, good random number generators, etc.
Without, you have no regular expression support (library(pcre)).
Without you have no YAML support (library(yaml)).

Note that including GMP support makes the memory footprint bigger, but mostly if you have no other applications depending on GMP. All the other optional components are only loaded if you actually use them.

Prerequisites to build the documentation

The HTML documentation is built as part of the default build procedure and only depends on Prolog itself and some of its packages. The dependencies below are needed to build the PDF documentation. Configuring the build to include the PDF docs requires

sudo apt-get install \
        texlive-latex-extra \
        texlive-font-utils \
        texlive-fonts-extra \
        texlive-fonts-extra-doc \
        texlive-fonts-recommended \

Now that after you have installed dependencies, return to Build SWI-Prolog from source to complete installation.