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How to Build Gaim for SUSE Linux 9.1 with GroupWise Instant Messenger Support

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Ryan Smith

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Posted: 12 May 2004

Ryan SmithNovell is working aggressively to migrate employees and contractors to its newly acquired SUSE Linux platform. Since I work here at Novell, I have all the tools at my disposal to run the latest technology, even before it hits the streets.

Once I switched to Linux on my primary workstation, I was excited to get my GroupWise Instant Messenger (GWIM) working, since we rely on it heavily for our day-to-day interactions around here. I've been fairly daring and have been running all the latest builds of SUSE Linux 9.1 Professional beta up until the gold master came out. I upgraded from beta 5 to the gold master and broke a lot of KDE functionality, so I decided to do a fresh install. After installing the GroupWise 6.5 Linux beta and the GWIM Linux beta, I was a little unhappy with my machine's performance. I noticed that I had to shut down GWIM once in a while because it would freeze up.

When I heard that Gaim had a plug-in for GroupWise Instant Messenger, I was more than ready to give it a go. However, after installing Gaim from the SUSE Linux 9.1 Professional CDs and adding the GroupWise plug-in, I was again disappointed to find that Gaim would crash anytime I tried to log into it with my GWIM account. So I decided to build my own Gaim from the source rpm files -- a task I was unfamiliar with but excited to undertake to gain some experience in Linux. Here's how I did it.

NOTE: You will need to have Mozilla Firefox (formerly Firebird) installed for this to work with the Netscape Security Services.


The following are the steps to build Gaim with SSL support for SUSE Linux 9.1 with GWIM support:

  1. Whenever you compile anything in Linux, you need a version of make. Depending on what you're building, you may need additional packages. In this case, you'll need to make sure you have these development libraries installed:
    • glibc
    • glibc-devel
    • gtk
    • gtk-devel
    • glib2
    • gcc
    • gcc-c++
    • pkgconfig
    • Type these in YaST and make sure to install them all before you continue.

  2. Download the source rpm files from (click on tarball in the upper right-hand corner).
    • I downloaded this file to /home/username/downloads and unzipped it by right-clicking and choosing Actions > Extract here.

  3. Download the Netscape Security Services (NSS) and NSPR binary distributions from under 'distribution information'.
    • I downloaded the optimized binaries for Linux:
    • I downloaded these files to /home/username/downloads and unzipped them by right-clicking and choosing Actions > Extract here.

  4. In order for sound to work with this build, you'll need to install libao-devel and audiofile-devel from YaST (this requires the CDs).
    • Type libao in YaST (install and remove software) and make sure that all three of the libao programs are installed (libao, libao-arts, and libao-devel).

  5. From the command line, cd to /home/username/downloads/gaim-0.77/ and make sure to run the following commands as root:
    • Type ./configure

      (If you get any errors about development packages not being installed, make sure you add them.)

      ./configure will tell you when it is finished what SSL implementation is going to be used. You will get one of these 2 lines:
         SSL Library/Libraries......... : None
         SSL Library/Libraries......... : Mozilla NS

      If it says 'None', most likely your paths to the NSS and NSPR include files were incorrect. Double-check them and run configure again before the next step. If configure tells you that you don't have certain dependencies such as the libraries mentioned in Step 1, you can generally get them from YaST, even if it only tells you the URL where to download them. It's much easier to get packages with YaST.
    • Type make
    • Type make install

  6. You will need to add a line with your path to the mozilla lib directory such as "/opt/mozilla/lib" (for Firefox, the path is /opt/MozillaFirefox/lib) without quotes to the file /etc/ (if it's not already in there) and run the command ldconfig as root.

Ryan Smith is a Team Lead for Xponential, Inc., the web production company which produces the award-winning website (our mothership...).

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