Quill Notes: Fixing up the Teapot Configuration on Linux

You can find Quill at the tcl-quill GitHub page.

Yesterday, with help from my friend Ted Brunzie I got Ubuntu Linux (64-bit “Trusty Tahr”) running in a virtual machine on my iMac. That means I can actually do Quill testing on 64-bit Linux, which is outstanding.

So far I’ve discovered the following things:

quill teapot create‘ and ‘quill teapot link‘ don’t work right. This isn’t Quill’s fault precisely. Given a typical installation of ActiveTcl on Linux, certain files go in disk partitions owned by “root”. Quill can’t touch these without superuser privileges, which means that certain commands need to be run using ‘sudo‘.

The problem is that the platform’s security policy affects how ‘sudo‘ behaves. On some Linux boxes I’ve used, the command ‘sudo quill teacup link‘ works just fine. On others, Quill can’t see the user’s PATH (which it needs to find the ‘teacup‘ executable) and so it fails. On some of these, if you do ‘sudo -E quill teacup link‘ to preserve the environment, everything works fine.

And as I’ve just discovered, on others even the “-E” flag doesn’t help.

I’ve got a scheme for how to handle that; more on it later.

64-bit vs. 32-bit matters. The ‘quill build‘ command doesn’t make any distinction between 32-bit and 64-bit Linux, except when building a Linux executable on some other platform; and then it assumes you want 32-bit. But this Ubuntu installation is 64-bit; and it doesn’t include all the libraries needed for 32-bit TCL/TK GUI applications. Thus, you might well want to build both 32-bit and 64-bit Linux executables, and the platform you’re actually on matters in ways that hadn’t occurred to me. I’ll be looking into fixing that as well.

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