You need gcc version 2.0 or later to compile gforth.
(see Section Configuration Options below for details).
After configuration, type
Now you can check whether your shiny new Forth system works. Say
You can run some benchmarks with
and compare them with the results in Benchres and in the manual.
If everything is all right, you may want to install gforth. Type
You have to make an entry in the info directory file manually (see
Installing Info Files, below).
For paper documentation, print gforth.ps (a Postscript file (300dpi
fonts, i.e., it works, but does not produce best quality on better
printers)), or say
and print the resulting file gforth.dvi. You can also get the
documentation in HTML format by typing
If you prefer plain ASCII documentation, you can
or just concatenate the files gforth.info-* ('cat gforth.info-*' under
Unix); the result of the latter option is a little worse.
You can find binary distributions, documentation in HTML and plain
text format and information on known installation problems at
If you use GNU make, you can build in a directory different from the
source directory by changing to the build directory and invoking
where $srcdir is the source directory. (Note that we tested this only
for installation; i.e., if you want to hack the Gforth sources, you
should probably build in the source directory).
configure has the following useful parameters:
--prefix=PREFIX install architecture-independent files in PREFIX
--exec-prefix=PREFIX install architecture-dependent files in PREFIX
[default: same as prefix]
--enable-force-reg Use explicit register declarations if they appear in
the machine.h file. This can cause a good speedup,
but also incorrect code with some gcc versions on
some processors (default disabled).
--enable-direct-threaded Force direct threading. This may not work on
some machines and may cause slowdown on others.
--enable-indirect-threaded Force indirect threading. This can cause a
slowdown on some machines.
--with-debug specifies option -g to compile with debug info (default)
--without-debug omits the -g switch and creates smaller images on
machines where strip has problems with gcc style
--help: tells you about other parameters.
The file Benchres shows which combination of the -enable options we
tried gave the best results for various machines.
If you don't like the defaults for the installation directories, you
should override them already during configure. E.g., if you want to
install in the /gnu hierarchy instead of in the default /usr/local
Moreover, if your GCC is not called gcc (but, e.g., gcc-2.7.1), you
should say so during configuration. E.g.:
env CC=gcc-2.7.1 ./configure
You can also pass additional options to gcc in this way, e.g., if you
want to generate an a.out executable under Linux with gcc-2.7.0:
env "CC=gcc -b i486-linuxaout -V 2.7.0" ./configure
You can change the sizes of the various areas used in the default
image `gforth.fi' by passing the appropriate Gforth command line
options in the FORTHSIZES environment variable:
env "FORTHSIZES=--dictionary-size=256k --data-stack-size=16k --fp-stack-size=15872b --return-stack-size=15k --locals-stack-size=14848b" ./configure
The line above reaffirms the default sizes. Note that the locals
stack area is also used as input buffer stack.
If C's "long long" do not work properly on your machine (i.e., if the
tests involving double-cell numbers fail), you can build Gforth such
that it does not use "long long":
env ac_cv_sizeof_long_long=0 ./configure
A few tests made by the configure script do not work in a
cross-compilation situation. You have to provide the results of these
tests by hand. E.g., if you compile for a 386 architecture processor:
env ac_cv_sizeof_char_p=4 ac_cv_sizeof_short=2 ac_cv_sizeof_int=4 ac_cv_sizeof_long=4 ac_cv_sizeof_long_long=8 ac_cv_c_bigendian=no ./configure
The ac_cv_sizeof_... variables give the sizes of various C types;
ac_cv_sizeof_char_p is the same as "sizeof(char*)" in C code. The
ac_cv_c_bigendian variable gives the byte order.
Preloading installation-specific code
If you want to have some installation-specific files loaded when
Gforth starts (e.g., an assembler for your processor), put commands
for loading them into /usr/local/share/gforth/site-forth/siteinit.fs
(if the commands work for all architectures) or
/usr/local/lib/gforth/site-forth/siteinit.fs takes precedence if both
files are present (unless you change the search path). The file names
given above are the defaults; if you have changed the prefix, you have
to replace "/usr/local" in these names with your prefix.
By default, the installation procedure creates an empty
/usr/local/share/gforth/site-forth/siteinit.fs if there is no such
If you change the siteinit.fs file, you should run "make install"
again for the changes to take effect (Actually, the part of "make
install" starting with "rm gforth.fi" is sufficient).
Multiple Versions and Deinstallation
Several versions of Gforth can be installed and used at the same
time. Version `foo' can be invoked with `gforth-foo'. We recommend to
keep the old version for some time after a new one has been installed.
You can deinstall this version of Gforth with 'make uninstall' and
version foo with 'make uninstall VERSION=foo'. 'make uninstall' also
tells you how to uninstall Gforth completely.
Installing Info Files
Info is the GNU project on-line documentation format. You can read
info files either from within Emacs (Ctrl-h i) or using the
stand-alone Info reader, 'info'.
If you use the default install root of '/usr/local' then the info
files will be installed in '/usr/local/info'.
Many GNU/Linux distributions are set up to put all of their
documentation in '/usr/info', in which case you might have to do a
couple of things to get your environment set up to accommodate files
in both areas:
1. Add an INFOPATH environment variable. The easiest place to do
this is '/etc/profile', right next to PATH and MANPATH:
2. Create a file called 'dir' in 'usr/local/info'. Use the file
'/usr/info/dir' as a template. You can add the line for gforth
manually, or use '/sbin/install-info' (man install-info for details).