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This document will cover a basic build of OCaml, findlib, and a base set of libraries and tools from their original source code. There are other methods available for installing OCaml, including GODI and your Linux distribution's native packages. Whichever approach you take, please read all of the available documentation. This document is only a summary - it will be useful and likely necessary to know more than is presented here.

A bash shell and basic development toolchain is assumed, along with OCaml version 3.12.1 and findlib version 1.2.7.

Building OCaml and findlib From Source

Building OCaml

  1. Define the location of your OCaml installation as an environment variable for simplicity while following these steps.
    • export OCAML_BASE=$HOME/ocaml
    • mkdir -p $OCAML_BASE/build -- Where we will do our initial build
  2. Download and extract OCaml 3.12.1
    • cd $OCAML_BASE/build
    • curl -O
    • tar xzf ocaml-3.12.1.tar.gz
  3. Build OCaml
    • cd ocaml-3.12.1
    • ./configure -prefix $OCAML_BASE
    • make world.opt -- There is currently no support for a parallel build of OCaml itself. This step may take a while.
  4. Install OCaml
    • make install
  5. Install the compiler libraries for OCaml
    • mkdir -p $OCAML_BASE/lib/ocaml/compiler-libs/typing
    • mkdir -p $OCAML_BASE/lib/ocaml/compiler-libs/parsing
    • mkdir -p $OCAML_BASE/lib/ocaml/compiler-libs/utils
    • cp typing/*.cmi $OCAML_BASE/lib/ocaml/compiler-libs/typing/
    • cp parsing/*.cmi $OCAML_BASE/lib/ocaml/compiler-libs/parsing/
    • cp utils/*.cmi $OCAML_BASE/lib/ocaml/compiler-libs/utils/
  6. Setup your environment to find your freshly installed OCaml
    • export PATH=$OCAML_BASE/bin:$PATH

Building findlib

  1. From the same terminal, download and extract findlib 1.2.7
    • cd $OCAML_BASE/build -- You should already be here
    • curl -O
    • tar xzf findlib-1.2.7.tar.gz
  2. Build findlib
    • cd findlib-1.2.7
    • ./configure -- This should automatically configure findlib to install alongside OCaml
    • make all opt
  3. Install findlib
    • make install
  4. Configure findlib
    • mkdir `ocamlfind printconf destdir`/stublibs
    • echo `ocamlfind printconf destdir`/stublibs >> `ocamlfind printconf ldconf`

You should, at this point, have a working installation of OCaml and findlib. You may want to add the following lines to the end of your .bashrc so that these tools are available from your $PATH in all future terminal sessions:

export OCAML_BASE=$HOME/ocaml

Getting odb, oasis and Batteries

odb is a simple, easy to use client for the [oasis-db][] OCaml package repository.

oasis is a tool for creating build systems for OCaml programs and libraries.

Batteries is a library for OCaml which extends OCaml's standard library with many useful additions.

Fetching and setting up odb

  1. From a terminal, download
    • cd $OCAML_BASE/bin
    • curl -O
    • chmod +x
  2. Setup the environment for odb
    • cd $OCAML_BASE/etc
    • curl -O
    • source odb.bashrc

You want want to add the following line to the end of your .bashrc so that the environment will be setup the same way every time you open a new terminal:

source $OCAML_BASE/etc/odb.bashrc

Installing oasis

  1. Let odb do the work, including installing several dependencies
    • oasis

Installing Batteries

  1. Once again, odb handles the heavy lifting
    • batteries

Example project using oasis and Batteries

To Be Written

Other goodies

utop, an enhanced toplevel/interactive environment

  1. Install React, an optional dependency of Lwt
    • react
  2. Install Lwt with React support enabled (required by utop)
    • --configure-flags --enable-react lwt
  3. Install utop and the remaining packages it depends on
    • utop