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Installing OpenRDK

OpenRDK software has been developed and tested under Linux. It has also been proved and has worked properly under OS/X.

Download from SourceForge

You have two choices (as usual with OpenSource projects): either you can download the latest release, or you can download the current Subversion (unstable) version using the command:

  $ svn checkout OpenRDK

NOTE: to use the last method, you must have Subversion installed on your system (install it using the package manager of your distribution).

OpenRDK dependencies


In order to install, compile, and use OpenRDK, you need some external packages. Every linux distribution has its own package manager (Synaptic for Ubuntu, Adept for Kubuntu, Yum for Fedora). You have to open the package manager and to install the following ones (if not installed yet):

  • gcc (up to 4.4.3)
  • g++ (up to 4.4.3)
  • cmake (2.6, should work also with 2.4)
  • libgsl0 (a.k.a. ligsl0ldbl)
  • libgsl0-dev o libgsl0-devel
  • libxml2
  • libxml2-dev o libxml2-devel
  • libqt3-mt o libqt3
  • libqt3-mt-dev o libqt3-devel

For example, if you are running a Debian based linux distribution like Ubuntu you can run from the shell:

  $ sudo apt-get install gcc g++ cmake
  $ sudo apt-get install libgsl0-dev libxml2
  $ sudo apt-get install libxml2-dev libqt3-mt libqt3-mt-dev

If you have a Ubuntu-based distribution (e.g., Ubuntu, Kubuntu), you also have to run:

  $ sudo dpkg-reconfigure dash

and say that you do not want dash installed as /bin/sh. This is needed because cmake (at least up to version 2.6) is not compatible with dash.


If you are on a MacOSX, you should first install MacPorts and Fink, which will be useful to install all the dipendency libraries. You should also have installed the gcc and g++ GNU compilers. You can retrieve them via:

  • XCode Development Environment (included with the extra packages into Tiger or Leopard Installation Disk, or available on Apple's Web Site)
  • MacPorts, typing: sudo port install gcc g++
  • Fink, typing: sudo fink install gcc g++

Then, you must type within a shell:

  $ sudo port install cmake
  $ sudo port install gsl-devel
  $ sudo port install libxml2
  $ sudo fink install qt3 qt3-shlibs qt3mac qt3mac-shlibs

NOTE. DON'T INSTALL qt3-mac using MacPorts, because it won't work.

We suggest you to install cmake v2.6 or later. If you want to use only Fink instead of MacPorts, just replace port with fink. However, we strongly suggest to use MacPorts at least for the libxml2 library, as it has a better support for Leopard.

If you plan to use OpenRDK scripts, you should also install coreutils.

NOTE. In order to run RConsole with MacOSX, you need to install X11 environment and to run rconsoleqt within the X11 shell (not the typical MacOSX terminal). Apple's X11 environment is available within the Tiger or Leopard install disk.

Please notice that the main development efforts are directed to Linux operating systems. OpenRDK has been tested both on Tiger (10.4) and Leopard (until 10.5.6) versions of the MacOSX.


If you are on a Windows machine (why are you on a Windows machine?), you need to install Cygwin (from its website) with the following packages: subversion, gcc, g++, make, gsl, gsl-devel, cmake, libxml2, libxml2-devel. Although they are not needed for most of the things, you can also install qt3, qt3-devel, bc (the latter is used by some scripts).

Please notice that rconsoleqt is still not supported on Cygwin. Moreover, OpenRDK is designed for UNIX-like operating systems, and will receive very little support for problems regarding Cygwin compatibility. Use OpenRDK on Windows only if it is your only chance.

The OpenRDK directory structure

When you uncompress the OpenRDK package you will find three directories:

  • data
  • docs
  • src

The data directory

In this directory you can place all the configuration files for running OpenRDK. For the moment it is not important that you know how to make them, it will be explained lately, just know they are here.

The docs directory

You can find here some documentation about OpenRDK, including this tutorial in pdf format.

The src directory

This is the directory where all the code will be placed. Let's give a look inside it.
The src directory has the following sub-directories

  • apps
  • build_tools
  • external
  • libraries

The ./src/libraries directory

Inside this folder you have, most notably, the rdkcore library, that is the library that all application based on OpenRDK should link. Other utility libraries can be also there.

The ./src/build_tools directory

In this folder you have files required by the building system. Beginners should not be worried about this.

The ./src/apps directory

In this directory you find the applications composing OpenRDK. These are:

  • ragent2
  • rconsoleqt

ragent2 is the command line OpenRDK application. rconsoleqt is a graphical application that allow developers to have low level control of an ragent.

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Page last modified on June 11, 2010, at 01:13 PM