Lately, I have developed a liking for the Alpine Messaging System. It is a text based email client that runs on a variety of platforms. I use it with Gmail IMAP at home and MS Exchange at work. In both cases, it works beautifully.
Pre-compiled binaries for a good number of platforms are available on the apline website. But if you are not in a position to use the pre-compiled binaries – say because you do not have root privileges, or binary is not available for your platform, or may be you just
want to use the bleeding edge development code – you can build the alpine application from source. The following steps are specific to building the latest SVN snapshot on Ubuntu Hardy Heron. It may/may not work on other OSes.
Prepare your system
Get all the (known) prerequisites. From my experience, these are required:
- libncurses5-dev to get rid of the following error:
configure: error: Terminfo/termcap not found
- libpam0g-dev and libssl-dev to get rid of some SSL related errors.
To get the above use the following in terminal:
% sudo apt-get install subversion libncurses5-dev \ libpam0g-dev libssl-dev
Get the source code
Get the latest source snapshot. Following few steps are one time. After the initial snapshot is acquired with svn checkout, svn update can be used to update the source snapshot:
% mkdir ..../alpine % cd ..../alpine % svn checkout \ https://svn.cac.washington.edu/public/alpine/snapshots/
Accept the certificate (permanently) if required.
Configure, compile and install
Now use the familiar configure, make, make install routine to build and install Alpine.
% cd .../alpine/snapshots % svn update % ./configure --prefix=/opt/apps/alpine --with-local-password-cache-method % make % sudo make install
I was overly optimistic in using
--with-local-password-cache-method. I was hoping that Alpine would store my account passwords in Gnome Keyring! It did not work quite like that. I need to enter my email passwords every time I start Alpine.
Other way to automate password entry is to use the
--with-passfile configure option. But it is known to be unsafe.
EDIT: Trying to recompile alpine on Intrepid, I discovered that
libssl-dev is also required.