From the Canyon Edge -- :-Dustin

Monday, August 2, 2010

Celebrating the Big 3-0

Unfortunately, this post isn't about my 30th birthday. Nope, I turn 31 later this month :-(

But it is about a significant milestone: the Byobu 3.0 release!

For over a year now, a growing number of people have been asking for a Byobu tarball that is installable on all sorts of non-Ubuntu/non-Debian/non-RedHat UNIX and Linux systems. Some others just want the ability to install Byobu locally on perhaps a Debian/Ubuntu system where they don't have root access but want Byobu goodness.

For 9+ months, I've been avoiding autohell. I wrote byobu-export to create a tarball that could be exported and uncompressed directly in your $HOME directory anywhere that you can run screen. But some people want to relocate those binaries. And the number of requests for a "./configure && make && make install" style build system seem have spiked recently (most notably from OS X users).

Finally, I caved. I took a holiday from real work last Thursday and spent the day hacking together an autoconf/automake build system into Byobu. I used this grumpy-though-informative tutorial. It got me most of the way there. I had to change a lot of Byobu's code, to make it actually relocatable via the ./configure --prefix option.

The result? You should now be able to:
  1. Download the latest tarball from the Launchpad release page
  2. Uncompress and cd
  3. Run ./configure --prefix=$HOME/somewhere && make && make install
  4. Update your PATH with export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/somewhere/bin
  5. And then just run byobu
And you should be able to do this almost anywhere that has screen installed! To use the graphical F9 menu, you'll also need python-newt, but without python-newt, you can just edit the text files in ~/.byobu by hand.

This was no small amount of work, and I'm quite proud of it :-) Proud enough to bump the major version, from 2.x to 3.x! I've subsequently uploaded it to the backports PPA and pushed to Maverick. Please file any issues or regressions here.

I'm sure I've just opened the floodgates for all sorts of wacky bugs about status notifications that do not work in obscure UNIX flavors... As they say here in Montreal, "C'est la vie!"



  1. Thanks for going through Autohell to make byobu more available!

  2. Arrumph...

    One thing you need to mention is that "byobu" needs python-newt AND python snack... Compiling on Slackware Linux is a pain in the neck. But I am slowly getting there.


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