Compiling/building acme-sac on Mac OS question

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Rubén Berenguel

Nov 4, 2012, 2:55:59 PM11/4/12
Hi everyone, acme-sac newbie here.

After watching Russ Cox's video about acme I finally decided to give it a spin (after some previous "almost" moments, and having played with plan9 a long time ago in a virtual machine), and downloaded plan9ports and used acme for a while. Great so far, even though it won't stop me from using emacs it is a refreshing take on editing. I decided to give acme-sac a shot, too. I was curious about limbo and the dis machine, so I thought "Hey, compile the beast." After too many walks (err cd and mk) in circles, I just downloaded the executable to try to build from within acme-sac, since building without an inferno emulator looked pointless/impossible and I wasn't sure where to find it/how to use it.

Following the steps in the first page of the google project (

>> You can build the limbo source tree from inside acme:

>> cd /appl/
>> mk install

I opened a terminal with "win" and did this. So far so good, no errors I could see. The problems came later (as... expected?)

>> cd /sys/
>> run MacOSX/MacOSX-386...(etc)

Didn't work. Looks like a problem looking for the included libraries. One of the first errors is for 

In file included from ./sys/MacOSX/386/include/lib9.h:18,

                 from ./sys/libdraw/alloc.c:1:

/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.4u.sdk/usr/include/stdarg.h:4:25: error: stdarg.h: No such file or directory

Which suggests I don't have the required Mac SDK... But I do: 

ls -lrth /Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.4u.sdk/usr/include/stdarg.h

-rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel   234B Jan 31  2007 /Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.4u.sdk/usr/include/stdarg.h

Any idea? It looks like compiling from within acme is impossible, filename lookup would never work like this (sample: from within a prompt in acme the previous query returns ls: stat /Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.4u.sdk/usr/include/stdarg.h: '/Developer' file does not exist)

Any hint? I'd love to be able to hack a little the source, or at least get to the compilation point so I can learn a little limbo development.


Ruben Berenguel


Nov 5, 2012, 4:50:53 PM11/5/12
You were able to compile all the limbo code. So you can start writing limbo and running it in Acme. Acme is written in limbo so you can change anything in the editor or write Acme clients.  The only part the failed is the compiling of the dis emulator, which is written in C and so you need a C development environment.  To get that working you'd need to change your configuration, the files under /sys/MacOSX. But to do that you should probably get a little familiar with inferno and the shell first. The C compilation is happening outside the emulator, and the configuration scripts are doing tricks to make that happen using the os(1) command.
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