Just a Theory

By David E. Wheeler

Posts about readline

How Do I Avoid Tiger's readline When Compiling PostgreSQL?

I was delighted to find that Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger” includes the readline library. So I was able to just compile PostgreSQL and have psql just work. Only it kinda doesn’t. For reasons that Tom Lane has explained, Tiger’s readline implementation is somewhat buggy. I’ve reported the issue to Apple, but in the meantime, I’ve compiled and installed GNU readline 5.0 and wan to use it, instead.

The only problem is that there is no easy way to do it with environment variables or options when configuring PostgreSQL. I’ve tried:

./configure --includes=/usr/local/include -with-libs=/usr/local/lib

And:

CFLAGS=-L/usr/local/lib LDFLAGS=-I/usr/local/include; ./configure

Neither approach worked. In both cases, it still compiled in Apple’s buggy readline library. The only approach I’ve found to work is the brute force approach:

mv /usr/lib/libreadline.* /tmp
mv /usr/include/readline /tmp
./configure
make
make install
mv /tmp/libreadline.* /usr/lib
mv /tmp/readline /usr/include

But surely I’m missing something! Is there no better way to do it?

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Compiling libreadline on Mac OS X

I just realized that I never posted my recipe for configuring and installing libreadline on Mac OS X. I need it for use with PostgreSQL, and don’t fully understand why Apple has not yet included it with Mac OS X. Maybe it’ll be in Tiger?

In the meantime, it turns out to be pretty easy to configure it and build it yourself, assuming you have the developer tools (“Xcode”) installed. The only thing that’s different from any other Unix is that the support/shobj-conf must be modified to be able to find other libraries installed on Mac OS X. Here’s a shell script I whipped up that can do the whole thing for you, soup-to-nuts.

#!/usr/bin/sh
export VERSION=4.3
curl -O ftp://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/readline/readline-$VERSION.tar.gz
tar zxvf readline-$VERSION.tar.gz
cd readline-$VERSION
perl -i.bak -p -e \
  "s/SHLIB_LIBS=.*/SHLIB_LIBS='-lSystem -lncurses -lcc_dynamic'/g" \
  support/shobj-conf
./configure
make
sudo make install

Hope that this helps others!

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