X0002: GtkD Linux Development Environment

Okay, hold onto your hat, because we’re gonna install and test a D language development environment on Linux.

Disclaimer: I’ve been away from Linux for a donkey’s age, so I’m only covering what I know so far, the installation procedure on Linux Mint 19.1, the distro I use here. I assume this will also work if you use Ubuntu or Debian, the parent and grandparent distros for Mint, but don’t quote me.

However, I have it on a good authority (from Mike Wey, the sole remaining member of the GtkD dev team and keeper of the GtkD forum) that using the install.sh script will work for most, if not all, other distros. And for installing GtkD, you can follow the guidelines under Installation at the bottom of this page.

Mike also suggested that if your distro includes the D Language and/or GtkD, it’s best to use your native package manager for installation. And he kindly agreed to vet this post for technical accuracy, for which I thank him.

Anyway, let’s get on with it, shall we?

Installation On Linux (an Apt Approach)

Note: You can just copy and paste these commands into a shell to avoid mistyping stuff, or go it the hard way and practice your touchtyping skills. Up to you.

First, let’s establish access to the repository:

sudo wget https://netcologne.dl.sourceforge.net/project/d-apt/files/d-apt.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/d-apt.list

Second, set things up so apt-get won’t complain about repositories that may not adhere 100% to its security protocols:

sudo apt-get update --allow-insecure-repositories && sudo apt-get -y --allow-unauthenticated install --reinstall d-apt-keyring && sudo apt-get update

Third, we do the actual installation (this does everything, the D language, GtkD wrappers and libraries, docs, the works):

sudo apt-get install dmd-compiler dmd-doc libgtkd3-dev libgtkd3-doc

And one more command to install dmd-tools (which installs some coolness we’ll talk about some day):

sudo apt-get install dmd-tools

You should now have a working development environment for D and GtkD.

One Way to Build

We’re almost ready to compile some code, but first we need to find the wrappers and the static and/or shared gtk libraries. Open a shell and issue this command:

pkg-config --cflags --libs gtkd-3

What pkg-config does is query the list of installed software and find out which directories these things got stuffed into. But it does more than that. By including the --cflags directive, we get compiler flags we can copy and hand over to dmd.

So, navigate to a directory containing one of the GtkD code files and type this:

dmd -de -w -m64  -I/usr/include/dmd/gtkd3 -L-L/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu -L-L/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu -L-l:libgtkd-3.so -L-l:libdl.so.2 -L--no-warn-search-mismatch -defaultlib=libphobos2.so <code-filename>.d -of<executable-filename>

Well, that was fun, although it’s a bit much to type every time. Let’s save some wear and tear on our fingers by finding…

Another Way to Build

It turns out that if we surround that pkg-config command with back-ticks, we can use its output as arguments to dmd like this:

dmd -de -w -m64  `pkg-config --cflags --libs gtkd-3` <code-filename>.d -of<executable-filename>

Better, but this being Linux, we can pull a Bash trick to make it even easier.

Alias Away the Typing

A default installation of Linux Mint 19.1 xfce doesn’t have a .bash_aliases file, but creating one is not big deal:

touch ~/.bash_aliases

Default permissions will work, so no need to mess with chmod. Then all you need to do is fire up an editor and add this:

# D compiler command line alias for building with shared libraries
alias dbuild="dmd -de -w -m64 `pkg-config --cflags --libs gtkd-3`"

# D compiler command alias for building with static libraries
alias dbuild_static="dmd `pkg-config --cflags --libs gtkd-3-static`"

After saving .bash_aliases, open a new shell (any shell opened before these aliases are added won’t recognize these aliases) and type either:

dbuild <code_filename>.d


dbuild_static <code_filename>.d

And if you want the executable filename to be different from the code filename, just add this to the end of either of the above:



And there you have it, installation instructions for Linux Mint plus two ways to build and link D source on Linux without typing yourself into an early grave.

I hope you enjoyed this Blog eXtra. I’ll continue to spring these on you from time to time, covering such subjects as:

  • using dub as a build tool,
  • installing a GtkD development environment on FreeBSD, and
  • various shortcuts I discover as things progress.

Until next time…

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