Friday, April 18, 2008

Compiled Metacity (from svn) to get drop shadows!

Yesterday I tried compiling metacity downloaded from subversion.

I read an article (from containing some information on
compiling metacity from subversion. Following it, I first installed the
following packages on my Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy) system:
sudo apt-get install gnome-common build-essential autoconf gnome-devel libtool

Then, I tried to run:
which gave some errors about something like 'shift 370: can't shift that many'.
Then I tried reading the file and noted somewhere that I required
automake-1.10. My installed version was 1.9. So I installed 1.10 and tried again.

This time it progressed much further, but again bailed out while trying to run
aclocal-1.10. The error said something about '/usr/share/aclocal' being an invalid
option. I tried reading up on the aclocal manual page, and found that, to include
a directory of m4 files for aclocal, you need to use the -I option.
Another reading of showed that it was somehow calling
Then I tried reading the relevant portion of where it was calling
aclocal-1.10. Turns out that it was calling aclocal as 'aclocal-1.10 /usr/share/aclocal'.
I tweaked this file a little so that it was now calling aclocal as
'aclocal-1.10 -I /usr/share/aclocal'. After that I again ran ./
This time ran to completion... also invoking './configure' somehow, which also seemed
to run fine.

Now I ran 'make' and everything went smoothly. I was able to successfully compile
metacity from subversion on my system. Oh I forgot to mention, I used the enable
compositor option for configuring metacity, and now I get drop shadows in windows
and the gnome panel in metacity... cool :-)

By the way, I have the feeling that I would not have to do all these tweaking stuff
and everything would have gone smoothly if I had used gnome-common from
subversion (as was mentioned in one of the files I read) instead of the version
available from Ubuntu's gnome-common package.

Update: Just now (19th April, Saturday), I tried doing the same thing on a
different computer (this too, an Ubuntu Gutsy, but this one has access to the
internet and is regularly updated). Here, I did not need to put the '-I' option on the
aclocal line in file (as mentioned in my original post). In fact,
it gives me an error if I do so. But without that, the thing compiles just fine (with
automake 1.10 installed).

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