HippoDraw is a cross platform library and application.

The components of the distribution are

These instructions will help you install HippoDraw on all supported platforms.

Microsoft Windows

For Microsoft Windows, pre-built binaries are available in the form of a Microsoft installer file (.msi ) located here. It includes support for ROOT and FITS files. It also includes C++ version of Minuit To use it, one needs Microsoft's .NET Framework 1.1. Download and install the Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Redistributable from Microsoft web site if you don't already have it installed.

To install HippoDraw, just double click on the .msi file and follow the instructions. The installer file includes everything you need except Python. To use HippoDraw with Python, pre-built binaries for Python are available from the Python download page. You'll need to add HippoDraw to your Python path. Right click on MyComputer icon and go to

MyComputer->Properties->Advanced->Environmental Variables.

Create a new variable, PYTHONPATH, if you don't already have one, and add HippoDraw to it, for example, C:\Program Files\HippoDraw

Building HippoDraw with Qt 3 from source under Windows requires a Trolltech Qt commercial license, Microsoft VC++ 8.0 project files and instructions on how to use them are located in the vs.net2005 directory. Building HippoDraw with Qt 4 under Windows has not been tested with this release.

Mac OS X

On a Mac OS x system, HippoDraw can be built from source code like other Unix like systems. However, there are a few steps and precautions one should take and they are noted in the Installation on Mac OS X page.

Unix like System, Linux, Solaris, etc.

These are instructions for building the HippoDraw application and Python extension module from source on UNIX-like system. This includes UNIX systems such as Sun's Solaris, Linux systems, and Mac OS X with X windows.

In most cases, just doing the standard configure, make, and make install dance should work. The configure script will find the required software if they are installed in their default locations (usually /usr/local). If it doesn't, read the Configuring HippoDraw section below for configuring with HippoDraw with some external packages located on usual places (especially for Mac OS X).

The major sections on the remainder of this page are

Required and Optional Software.

Building the complete HippoDraw package from source requires a C++ compiler, the Qt library, the Boost.Python library, and Python. On a modern Linux distributions all are part of the distribution. On older distributions, only Boost.Python might be missing.

C++ compiler

HippoDraw requires a fairly standards compliant C++ compiler and library. However, some C preprocessor macros have been defined to enable workaround code for older compilers. These macros all have `_DEFECT' in their name. The configure script (see below) will define these macros as needed. There are also a few #ifdef in the source code for specific operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS X.

The current release was tested with gcc 3.2.3 on Red Hat Enterprise 3,4.6 pm Red Jat Emter[rose 4 gcc 4.2.1 on Fedora Core 7, gcc 4.0.1 on Mac OS X, and Windows XP with Visual Studio 8 (aka .NET 2005). Older versions of these compilers have been know to be sufficient in the past. That is, gcc 2.95.3 should still work. There are #ifdef in the source mainly for Visual Studio 6 but more may be needed.

Trolltech's Qt

The current release of HippoDraw requires Qt 3.1.0 or later built with thread support. However, the core library can be built without the graphical interface, see Qt 3 path and library. Also, versions of Qt in the 3.3 series, (3.3.3, and 3.3.4) had Trouble printing

Modern Linux distributions have a compatible version of the Qt 3 libraries installed. However, the header files might be missing unless the "developer" package of Qt was also installed. On some distributions, this is part of the KDE developer package.

The current release of Qt is 3.3.7. and Qt 4.1.4. HippoDraw has been tested with both version on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows

If an adequate version of Qt is not already installed on your system, it must be built and installed from source. See Installing Trolltech's Qt section below.

This release was developed with Qt 3.3.7 on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows, but also tested with Qt 3.1.2 on Red Hat Enterprise 3 system and Qt 4.1.2, on Fedora Core 6.


HippoDraw requires Python 2.3 or later for full functionality of its Python extension module. The reason for this requirement is to allow the user to write classes in Python that are derived from HippoDraw C++ base class. If earlier version of Python is found, these features will be disabled in the build. Only two classes are involved, the ObserverWrap and FunctionWrap.

Python can be obtained from This release was tested with Python 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4.


HippoDraw uses Boost.Python to build its Python extension module. Boost.Python is one of the libraries of the project.

Boost.Python version 1.32.0 or later is required for full functionality of HippoDraw's Python extension modules.

Only one class, FunctionWrap, requires this recent version of Boost, all others could use Boost-1.29.0 or later. See Boost path and library. for configuring HippoDraw for older versions of Boost. This release was developed with Boost-1_33_1.

See the Installing Boost section for tips on installing Boost.

Minuit (optional)

The C++ version of Minuit can be used by HippoDraw. This version is a grounds up re-write with involement of Fred James, the author of the original Fortran version.

Do not get confused by the older shared library that comes with the ROOT distribution, it is not the same thing. That library is an f2c'd version of the original Fortran.

FITS (optional)

HippoDraw's built-in support for reading a FITS file is implemented by using the CFITSIO library. FITS binary and ASCII tables are supported as well as images.

World CoordinateSystem library (WCSLIB) (optional)

WCSLIB is a C implementation of the coordinate transformations defined in the FITS WCS papers. When configured to use this library, HippoDraw provides and additional 10 transforms to its built-in transforms.

Python numerical arrays (optional)

Numarray , NumPy, and Numeric provide numerical array manipulation and computational capabilities similar to those found in IDL, Matlab, or Octave. When using numerical arrays, it is possible to write many efficient numerical data processing applications directly in Python. Thus it is highly recommended to use HippoDraw with one of the numerical array modules.

HippoDraw can return a numerical array to Python from any of the type of DataSource objects that are supported. One can also import data to a HippoDraw DataSource from a numerical array. This requires that at least one of numerical array Python modules has been installed and HippoDraw configured to build with to use it.

PyFITS (optional)

PyFITS provides an interface to FITS formated files for the Python. HippoDraw also supports reading FITS files from Python but the support is not as complete as PyFits. It requires installation of numarray or numpy.

ROOT (optional)

One common use of ROOT files, is store a table of data as TBranch objects each with a single TLeaf. Files of this type can be imported by HippoDraw as a RootNTuple. HippoDraw has been tested with versions 3.10/02, 4.02/00, and 5.14/00 on both Linux and Windows.

SIP (optional)

You only need to build the SIP version of HippoDraw's Python module if you want to use HippoDraw with PyQt. You need to set the PyQt version number in the sip/Makefile. See the INSTALL file in the sip subdirectory for instructions.

OpenGL (optional)

Guy Barrand <> has contributed code to use OpenGL for graphics with HippoDraw. See documentation in the OpenGL subdirectory. Although this work is not complete, one can configure HippoDraw to build a test program with it. The options is `--enable-openglbuild'.

Configuring HippoDraw

HippoDraw needs to be configured before building. This is done by running the configure script in the build directory. If all the required software was installed in their default places (usually /usr/local) then no configuration options should be needed.


If you obtained the source code from the CVS repository, you need to first create the configure script. Due to security restrictions at the SLAC, CVS access is only allowed to users with valid UNIX accounts at SLAC. If you obtained the source code from a gzipped tar file, the configure script has already been built and you can skip this step.

In source directory, just type ...

> ./autogen

This will create the in each subdirectory and the configure script that will be used in the next step. It will also create symbolic links in the config directory for scripts required by autoconf, automake, and libtool.


The configure script allows one to specify where the various required and option software libraries are located. If they are installed in their default locations, then configure will find them automatically. Thus, if one runs configure like this...

> ../hippodraw/configure

one should be configured with with the required external packages and any optional packages that were found to be installed. If this doesn't work, then read on in this section for configuring with external packages installed in non-standard places and see section If Configure Fails. for possible causes of the failure. The latter section also contains some special problems with Mac OS X.

It is recommended that you build in a separate directory from the source code. For example, if the name of the directory where the hippodraw source code is located is hippodraw/, then from the directory above it you might do

> mkdir hippodraw-BUILD 
> cd hippodraw-BUILD
> ../hippodraw/configure --with-Qt-dir=/usr/local/qt

This will force using Qt in /usr/local. The configure script will test the Qt installation and fail if faulty or incorrect path.

The configure script setups the build for the version of Python in your path. If this is not the version you want to build with, set your PATH environmental variable before running configure.

On Mac OS X, there are some special steps to be taken before running configure. See Building from CVS checkout and Failing to find Qt. below.

The configure script has many other options, which you can see by typing...

> ./configure --help

Most options are the same as other packages that use the GNU auto-tools suite. Some specific to HippoDraw are

Qt 3 path and library

--with-Qt-dir= sets the path to the root of the Qt tree. The default if not given, is to try /usr/local/qt and if that fails, /usr/lib/qt-3.1. To build b HippoDraw without Qt interface, use --without-Qt-dir

--with-Qt-lib= sets the name of the Qt shared library. The default is qt-mt corresponding to which has multi-threading enabled which is required to use HippoDraw with Python.

Normally, under the directory where Qt has been installed, one finds Qt's bin, include, and lib directories. If this is not the case, then you need to use the remaining Qt related options to set the appropriate paths.

To use Qt 4 use the corresponding --with-qt4 options. For example

 ../hippodraw/configure --with-qt4-dir=/usr/lib/qt4 --with-qt4-lib=/usr/lib \

If you are using Qt 4 and you plan to use the ListTuple class in Python, and you have a multi-processor machine, then one should configure like this

./hippodraw/configure CPPFLAGS=-DHAVE_SMP --with-qt4-dir=/usr/local/Trolltech/Qt-4.1.2

Failure to do so may lead to mysterious crashes due to thread conflicts.

With this release, using Qt 4 has not been fully tested yet, but there are no known bugs that do not exist when built with Qt 3.

Installing built-in help

--enable-help enables building HippoDraw with the built-in help It is enabled by default. Building the help requires use of the Doxygen tool. To disable building with the help, use --disable-help

Boost path and library.

--with-boost-version= sets the version or boost installation. Must be 1_32 or later. The default is 1_33_1

--with-boost-root= sets the path to the root of the boost installation. The default is /usr/local. This option only works if under this directory there is a subdirectory include/Boost-1_33_1/ subdirectory and a lib subdirectory.

--with-boost-include= sets the path to directory that contains a subdirectory boost/ which contains the header files. The default is /usr/local/include/boost-1_33_1/.

--with-boost-lib= sets the path to the boost libraries. The default is /usr/local/lib/.

--with-boost-libname= sets the name of the Boost.Python library. The default, if not given, is boost_python-gcc-1_33_1. A normal Boost install creates a dozen or so variations of each library. Because the compiler name is part of the library you may need to use this option when not compiling with gcc.

Minuit path and library.

On 12 December 2005, the C++ version of Minuit made a transition from its initial interface to one compatible with ROOT coding standards. Either one can be used by HippoDraw. However, no further development or bug fixes will be done on the original, but your can still find its sources starting from here...

For this version the library name is and the last released version is 1.7.9.

The latest version is called Minuit2 and is found here...

The library name is and has no external dependencies other than the C++ standard library.

In addition, if you have ROOT installed, you may find as part of the installation. This library contains libMinuit2Base plus some other ROOT specific classes thus has dependencies on other ROOT libraries.

HippoDraw can be configured to work with the original interface, the Minuit2 interface as a standalone, or the Minuit2 interface installed as part of your ROOT installation.

This release was tested Minuit-1.7.9 and Minuit2-5.12. Versions earlier than Minuit-1.4.0 incompatible.

In the following, one can use either --with-minuit-xxx or --with-minuit2-xxx. The former use the version of C++ Minuit with the original API and the latter uses the new (ROOT compatbile) API of Minuit2.

--with-minuit-include= sets the path to the Minuit header files. The default, if not given, is /usr/local/include/Minuit which is the default install of the Minuit package. For Minuit2, the defaults are first /usr/local/include/Minuit2 then/usr/include/Minuit2.

--with-minuit-lib= sets the path to the directory where the shared library is installed. The default, if not given, is /usr/local/lib which is the default install of the Minuit package. For Minuit2, the defaults are first /usr/local/lib then /usr/lib.

--with-minuit-libname= sets the name the Minuit shared library. The default is lcg_Minuit corresponding to the installed file. If the version of Minuit you have installed is 1.5.1 or earlier, then this option should be used to set the library name to Minuit.

If both versions of Minuit are found by default, then the Minuit2 implementation will be used. If neither version is found, and if ROOT installation is found, and if Minuit2 is found as part of it, then that version will be used.

If Minuit is not found in the default locations, then HippoDraw will be built without Minuit support.

CFITSIO path and library.

--with-cfitsio-include= sets the path to the CFITSIO header files. The default, if not given, is first /usr/local/include then /usr/include/cfitsio (as done with Fedora Core rpm).

--with-cfitsio-lib= sets the path to the directory where the shared library is installed. The default, if not given, is first /usr/local/lib then /usr/lib.

CFITSIO might be installed as part of the FTOOLS package, in which case one should use its installation path.

If CFITSIO is not found in the default location, or if the path of one of the above options is set to `no' or incorrect, then HippoDraw will be built without CFITSIO support.

See also:
CFITSIO installation

WCSLIB path and library

--with-wcslib=include= sets the path to the WCSLIB include directory. The default, if not given is /usr/local/include/wcslib.

--with-wcslib-lib= sets the path to the directory that contains the libwcs.a The default, if not given, is /usr/local/lib.

Build with ROOT support.

--with-root-include= sets the path to the ROOT header files. The default if not given, is /usr/local/include/root.

--with-root-lib= sets the path to the ROOT library files. The default if not given, is /usr/local/lib/root.

If you want to build without ROOT support and ROOT is installed in the above default paths, then use --without-root-include or --without-root-lib.

If ROOT is not found in its default location, or if the path is set to `no' or incorrect, then HippoDraw will be built without ROOT support.

Build with numarray support.

This release was tested with numarray-1.5.1 of numarray. Some versions after 1.3.3 namely, 1.4.x and 1.5.0, had a problem with at least one of the scripts in the examples directory. Problems was fixed with version 1.5.1
--enable-numarraybuild enables (the default) building HippoDraw with support of importing and exporting numerical arrays with numarray. It is assumed the numarray Python module is installed in its default location e.g., /usr/local/lib/python2.4/site-packages. configure looks for numarray and if not found looks for numeric. If neither is found, support for Python numerical arrays is disabled.

There is one warning coming from the build ...

g++ -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I../../hippodraw/numarray -I..
-I../../hippodraw -I../../hippodraw/python 
-I/usr/local/include/boost-1_33_1 -ftemplate-depth-60 
-I/usr/local/include/python2.4 -g -O2 -Wall 
-c ../../hippodraw/numarray/NumArrayTuple.cxx -MT 
NumArrayTuple.lo -MD -MP -MF .deps/NumArrayTuple.TPlo  -fPIC -DPIC
/usr/local/include/python2.4/numarray/libnumeric.h:47: warning: 
'libnumeric_API' defined but not used

which can be ignored.

Build with Numeric support.

--enable-numericbuild enables building HippoDraw with support of importing and exporting numerical arrays with Numeric. It is assumed the Numeric Python module is installed in its default location e.g., /usr/local/lib/python2.4/site-packages. If both numarray and Numeric packages are installed, you need to use this option to force support for Numeric, otherwise numarray will be used. The above warning message from the compiler is also seen when using Numeric.

Build with NumPy support.

--enable-numpybuild enables building HippoDraw with support of importing and exporting numerical arrays with NumPy. It is assumed the NumPy Python module is installed in its default location e.g., /usr/local/lib/python2.4/site-packages. If both numarray and NumPy packages are installed, you need to use this option to force support for NumPy otherwise numarray will be used. The above warning message from the compiler is also seen when using Numeric.

Build the SIP Python extension module.

--enable-sipbuild enables building the SIP based Python extension module. See the INSTALL file in the sip subdirectory for further details.

If Configure Fails.

The configure script can fail in a number of ways. Most of the time the error message you get is pretty clear. Here is a description of some common failures.

AM_PYTHON_PATH not found.

You should only see this message if building from CVS checkout. If autogen fails because of missing `AM_PYTHON_PATH M4 macro, then automake 1.6 or later is not installed. When you install a newer version of automake, it is a good idea to do autoconf and libtool as well as these tools seem to have dependencies on each other.

Files not found.

The configure script will fail if it fails to find header files or library files in the paths you specified with a configure option, or the default locations. Check that there isn't a typo in the options you gave. If the required files are really missing then they might be located elsewhere in your file system. If they are really missing, then you will need to install them.

C++ compiler doesn't work.

If the configure script fails with the following error message

    checking whether the C++ compiler works... 
    configure: error: cannot run C++ compiled programs.

then configure is not finding the version corresponding to the version of gcc it is using. This can happen, for example, if gcc in /usr/local/bin is being used and your system doesn't use /usr/local/lib in its shared library paths. The fix is to run configure like this ...

> ../hippodraw/configure LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib
or set your environment variable LD_LIBRARY_PATH accordingly. So for example, if in your environment gcc is found in /usr/local/bin, then you need to set LD_LIBRARY_PATH to /usr/local/lib.

Build in AFS file system.

If your build directory is in an AFS file system, then you must add the following option to configure


Failure to do so will lead to the following error message to appear every two seconds

      Waiting for BinnerBase.o.lock to be removed

With libtool locking disabled, one should not attempt to do parallel builds, i.e. using the `-j' option with the make command.

Building HippoDraw

After configuring, building is just ...

> make

If compiling on a multiple processor machine (or dual core one), one can use the do a parallel build with

> make -j2

This will cut the time needed to build by almost a factor of two.

This command first compiles core library, than the Qt specific parts and standalone executable, and finally the Python extension module. It will take about 6 minutes on 2 GhZ Pentium Mobile laptop.

During the build, you may see warnings like this ...

/usr/lib/qt-3.3/include/private/qucom_p.h:69: warning: \
'struct QUBuffer' has virtual functions but non-virtual destructor
/usr/lib/qt-3.3/include/private/qucom_p.h:77: warning: \
'struct QUType' has virtual functions but non-virtual destructor

when compiling some classes in the Qt or ROOT libraries. These appear if compiling with gcc 4.0 or later and can be safely ignored.

To generate the documentation for the C++ library, requires installation of Doxygen and Graphviz. You can change the Doxygen configuration file, `doc/', so Graphviz is not needed, but you will lose ability to generate some graphs.

If these tools are installed type ...

> make docs

to generated the HTML documentation in your build directory. The main page will be doc/html/index.html.

If you want to generated PDF documentation, type

>  make pdfdoc

This takes much longer than just generating the HTML. It leads to a 38MB PDF file which contains almost 5000 pages (5 boxes of paper if printed double sided).

If the Build fails

With library not found

If linking in the qt subdirectory fails with the message

/usr/bin/ld: cannot find -l-lqassistantclient
collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
make[4]: *** [] Error 1
make[4]: Leaving directory `/build/HippoDraw-1.16.0/qt'

then when running configure, you need to add


For some reason, the autoconf macro for Qt, finds it sucessfully, yet doesn't set the QT_LIBS macro correctly in the make files.

With undefined reference to Qt

If the build of HippoDraw fails with a linker error like this...

../../qt/.libs/ undefined reference\
to `QWaitCondition::~QWaitCondition [in-charge]()'
../../qt/.libs/ undefined reference\
to `QApplication::lock()'
../../qt/.libs/ undefined reference\
to `QWaitCondition::wakeAll()'
../../qt/.libs/ undefined reference\
to `QApplication::unlock(bool)'
../../qt/.libs/ undefined reference\
to `QWaitCondition::QWaitCondition[in-charge]()'
../../qt/.libs/ undefined reference\
to `QWaitCondition::wait(unsigned long)'

Then it is most likely that the configure script found the non-threaded version of Qt. HippoDraw should be built with the thread version, so that it can be used with Python. The Qt library name that has threaded support is

With header not found

If the build fails because the file axiswidget.h is not found when building with Qt 3.3.6, then you've hit a know bug in this release of Qt. It is documented here...

The fix is to open the qtui/Inspector.ui file and remove the includehints XML node.


Before attempting to install, make sure you have write privileges to the directories where HippoDraw will be installed. Typically, this is /usr/local, so you may have to su to root before typing the install command.

To install HippoDraw just type ...

> su
# make install

By default, installation is in /usr/local/bin. usr/local/include/HippoDraw and usr/local/lib. Also, the Python module will be installed in /usr/local/lib/python<n.m>/site-packages where `<n.m>' is the Python version (without any further. bug fix releases number). You can change the path to the install area with the --prefix= option to the configure command.

To install the class library documentation, type

# make install-docs
They are not installed by default.

Running HippoDraw

If you installed HippoDraw in the default path, /usr/local, then to run it as a stand-a-lone application, just type hippodraw. To use it as a python extension module, just import hippo.

If you did not install HippoDraw in the default area, then you need to add the path to the HippoDraw executable to your PATH environment variable or type the full path to the executable. To use HippoDraw as a Python extension module in this case, you need to add the path to the module to your PYTHONPATH environment variable. For example, if you installed HippoDraw in /usr/local/test, then csh users would do ...

> setenv PATH /usr/local/test/bin:$PATH
> setenv PYTHONPATH /usr/local/test/lib/python2.4/site-packages:$PYTHONPATH

Hints on Installing External Packages.

Most required or optional software packages used by HippoDraw install with the standard configure, make, make install dance. They usually install binaries, header files, and libraries in /usr/local/bin, /usr/local/include, and /usr/local/lib respectively where the HippoDraw configure script will find them by default. If you do not have write access to /usr/local and can not convince your system administrator to install them there for you, then you'll have to install them elsewhere. I recommend that you when you configure these external packages, you type...

> configure --prefix=$HOME

then they will be installed in your home directory under bin/, include/, and lib/. This will it easier to install and use them and other packages that depend on them. Just set your PATH environment variable in include $HOME/bin and your LD_LIBRARY_PATH (DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH on Mac OS X) to include $HOME/lib.

Some external packages cause some trouble if you don't read the instructions carefully. This sections give some tips that have been learn over time by the developers of HippoDraw.

Installing Trolltech's Qt

Installing Qt from source is straight forward as the standard configure, make, make install dance almost works. Don't panic, two options in Qt's configure step make it easy to build for use by HippoDraw. Both are needed for Qt 3.x and are the defaults for Qt 4.x.

The first option is to configure Qt with multi-threading support. The configure option is -thread. This is needed in order to be able to run HippoDraw as a Python extension module.

The second option is to set the run-time library path for the Qt library. This is needed so that you do not have to set the LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable when the HippoDraw's build invokes Qt's uic and moc executables. The Qt configure option is -R. If you are using a compiler whose corresponding library is not in /usr/lib, then you should also add its path to the -R option.

Trolltech recommends unpacking the sources in /usr/local and doing a build in place. If you do that, then all the example files will be built in your /usr/local which you may not want. I do a build in a work area, and then an install to /usr/local.

A recent build of Qt 3 was done as follows:

> tar zxvf qt-x11-free-3.3.4.tar.gz
> cd /home/pfkeb/qt-x11-free-3.3.4/
> setenv QTDIR /home/pfkeb/qt-x11-free-3.3.4
> setenv PATH $QTDIR/bin:$PATH
> setenv MANPATH $QTDIR/doc/man
> setenv LD_LIBRARY_PATH $QTDIR/lib:/usr/local/lib
> ./configure -prefix /usr/local/qt-x11-free-3.3.4 
  -R/usr/local/qt-x11-free-3.3.4/lib -R/usr/local/lib -thread -qt-gif
> make
> su
# make install

You must also build Qt with the same compiler as you will use to build HippoDraw.

Building with Qt 4 is easier, just follow the instructions that come with the distribution.

Installing Boost

Boost uses bjam to do a build instead of make. The bjam file can be obtained as pre-built executable by following the links on the Boost Getting started pages You only need one file which one can copy to /usr/local/bin or elsewhere in your PATH.

Boost versions 1_31_0 and later are easier to build than earliler versions by following the its web pages. At least for version 1_33_1 it is even easier than documented on their Web pages. The following just works....

> configure
> make
> make install

The above sequence of commands will build and install all the Boost librries. You can save 200MB of disk space and considerable amount of time by building only the Boost.Python libraries. This is done by adding --with-libraries=python to the confiugre command.

Apparently, the configure script creates a Makefile as a wrapper to the bjam command. So you still need the bjam executable, but don't need to know the bjam command syntax.

If you are going to try to follow Boost's instructions for building, then its seems that setting the environment variable `PYTHON_VERSION' and `PYTHON_ROOT' is missing from these pages, but documented within the Boost.Python web pages, otherwise it builds as instructed. This is true for both Windows and Unix like systems. With Boost version 1_31 there are warning messages about redefining _POSIX_C_SOURCE which apparently can be ignored. These warning don't appear with version 1_33 or later.

The following was done for installing Boost with bjam directly

> tar zxvf boost_1_33_1.tar.gz
> cd boost_1_33_1
> su
# export PYTHON_VERSION=2.4
# export PYTHON_ROOT=/usr/local
# bjam "-sTOOLS=gcc" install

For Mac OS X, see Installing Boost on Mac OS X.

This puts dozens of shared and static library files in /usr/local/lib. One probably doesn't need them all. If short on disk space, one might try the --without-<library> option to the bjam command. Or one might use the `stage' option and only copy the header directory boost and the required library files to /usr/local manually.

Possible Unicode Problem

If you get the following error after building HippoDraw ...

[pfkeb@localhost testsuite]$ python -i
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 13, in ?
    from hippo import HDApp
ImportError: /usr/local/lib/
 undefined symbol: PyUnicodeUCS4_FromEncodedObject

it is most likely caused by building Boost.Python with version of Python with UCS-4 mode and building Hippodraw with another version of Python without it. handling. For example, the Boost version that comes with Fedora Core 4 will have this problem if you install a new version of Python in /usr/local bin.

The fix is to make sure you are using the same version of Python for building Boost.Python and HippoDraw. My recommendation is to build and install Python in /usr/local. You'll then get the pydoc and idle commands which are missing from the Red Hat distributions. Also, you may want to install external Python modules in /usr/local/lib/python2.4/site-packages that are not available as Fedora rpms. Then you can rebuild Boost and go to a new version, say 1_33 at the same time.

CFITSIO installation

HippoDraw has been tested with cfitsio 2.510 and 3.006. RPM files for version 3.006 have been available in Fedora Core extras since version 3 and perhaps other Linux distributions.

As of cfitsio 2.510, its configure script does not behave like most configure scripts of other Open Source packages. In particular, the defult prefix path is the directory in which the script is invoked. If you want to install cfitsio in a public area like /usr/local, only the --prefix option works, but not the --includedir or --libdir.

Also, the cfitsio Makefile does not build shared library required by HippoDraw by default. So the installation of cfitsio that will work well with HippoDraw would be...

> configure --prefix=/usr/local
> make
> make shared
> make install

An unfortunate side effect of building like this is that two .h files are copied to /usr/local/include whose names give no clue that they belong to the cfitsio package. They are drvrsmen.h and longnam.h and for the former, even its contents give no clue that it belongs to the cfitsio package.

Known Problems.

Here are some know problems with certain versions of external software.

Trouble printing

Under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, Qt version 3.3.4 as problems generating correct PostScript. It can neither print the a printer nor create a valid PostScript file. Version 3.3.3 can create valid PostScript files, but can't talk to the printer. Version 3.3.2 and older do not have either problem.


When compiling HippoDraw or Boost.Python, you may see warnings that "_POSIX_C_SOURCE being redefined". They can safely be ignored. The warning do not occur with Boost version 1_33 or later.

Internal compiler error with Boost.Python

If you get the following error

internal compiler error: 
Segmentation fault

then the following might help...

Modified "boost/python/detail/translate_exception.hpp"(line 40)
From:        catch(exception_cref e)
To:          catch(exception_cref& e)

This problem was reported by Akito Kusaka. He was using SuSE 9.1, boost.python 1.31.0 from RPM package, gcc 3.3.3 from RPM package. He found the fix in

Boost.Python 1.30.x

Gcc 3.3.x series with Boost.Python 1_30_x has a problem. The error is first seen in compiling python/QtCut.cxx with the following message.

/usr/include/boost/python/converter/as_to_python_function.hpp:28: sorry,
unimplemented: `method_call_expr' not supported by dump_expr

Suggested work around is found on Python C++-sig mailing list . It allows compilation and linking but two the the test scripts, and, both fail at runtime.

Two headed display systems.

With the Qt 3.1 installed on Red Hat Linux 9, HippoDraw doesn't work on computers with multi-head displays. It works with Qt 3.3.1 and perhaps earlier versions

Segmentation fault on exit.

With Qt version 3.1.0, there is a segmentation fault when one exits the application run as a Python extension module. This appears to be a bug in Qt later version of Qt do not have the problem.

Internal QThread error on exit.

With Qt version 3.3.3 and later versions of Qt 3, there is error message

>>> QThread: internal error: zero data for running thread.
when one terminates the application.

Boost 1.31.0 required for Python 2.3.

Python 2.3 has some problems due change in C preprocessor macros (see Use Boost version 1_31.0 or later if you have Python 2.3 installed. With version 1.29.0, there are some warning message issued by gcc 3.x which can safely be ignored. They do not appear with earlier versions of gcc or with Boost.python version 1.30.0 or later.

Installing Python

Building and installing Python is the standard dance...

> cd Python-2.4
> ./configure
> make
> su
# make install

When installing Python as root user with its make install it might fail with

/usr/bin/install -c -m 644 ./LICENSE /usr/local/lib/python2.3/LICENSE.txt
PYTHONPATH=/usr/local/lib/python2.3   \
        ./python -Wi -tt /usr/local/lib/python2.3/ \
        -d /usr/local/lib/python2.3 -f \
        -x 'badsyntax|site-packages' /usr/local/lib/python2.3
./python: error while loading shared libraries:
 cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
make: *** [libinstall] Error 127

The problem can be caused by the compiler being installed in /usr/local and the root user not having /usr/local/lib in his LD_LIBRARY_PATH. Just do

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib

and try again.

Rebuilding Python

If you built and installed Python, and then install a newer version of gcc with a newer version of, then HippoDraw's Python extension module might fail. This is because HippoDraw built with the new version of the compiler is linked to a library incompatible with the one Python was built with. The solution to the problem is rebuild and install Python with the same compiler version used to built HippoDraw.

Installing numarray

The instructions for installing numarray on its Web site are not entirely correct. The script does not exist. As root user, use the script like this ...

> cd numarray-1.15.1
> python install

ROOT crashes at startup.

If HippoDraw was built with ROOT file support, and ROOT crashes at startup of a HippoDraw Python extension module, then the cause may be that ROOT's linkage to the C++ standard library is incompatible with HippoDraw's. This has been observed, for example, if ROOT is built with gcc 3.2, and HippoDraw is built with gcc 3.4 or later. The fix is to compile ROOT from source with later version of gcc. ROOT doesn't appear to compile with gcc 4.0, but building ROOT from source with gcc 3.4 and HippoDraw with gcc 4.0 seems to work ok.

Error loading shared libraries

If you get the following error message when trying to start the hippodraw applicaiton ...

error while loading shared libraries:
 cannot restore segment prot after reloc: Permission denied

or the following message when importing the Python extension module

importError: /home/pfkeb/hippodraw-NATIVE/lib/.libs/
cannot restore segment prot after reloc: Permission denied

then you are problably running SELinux. Newer Linux distributions have enabled new kernel security extensions from the SELinux project at the NSA. These extensions allow finer-grained control over system security. However, SELinux also changes some default system behaviors, such as shared library loading, that can be problematic to third party programs.

To fix this problem you can change the default security context of HippoDraw with the command...

chcon -t texrel_shlib_t <path-to-hippodraw>/

or putting SELinux in Permissive or Disabled mode.

Error finding ""

If you get the error message building HippoDraw like this ...

grep: /usr/local/lib/ No such file or directory
/bin/sed: can't read /usr/local/lib/
No such file or directory
libtool: link: `/usr/local/lib/' is not a valid libtool archive
make[2]: *** [] Error 1
make[2]: Leaving directory `/home/pfkeb/hippodraw-BUILD/lib'

then the fault is not in HippoDraw but in one of the external libraries it is linking against. This can happen when the external library uses libtool for building and was built with gcc in /usr/local. If gcc in /usr/local gets removed, say because upgrading the OS brought a newer version, then the external library will need to be rebuilt.

Building WCSlib on 64 bit machine

Installing the optional World CoordinateSystem library (WCSLIB) (optional) version 4.2 has the following compilation errors on 64 bit machines

gcc -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -g -O2 -c wcsulex.c
In file included from lex.wcsulex.c:8848:
/usr/include/unistd.h:441: error: conflicting types for 'read'
lex.wcsulex.c:8523: error: previous implicit declaration of 'read' was here
make[2]: *** [wcsulex.o] Error 1

gcc -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -g -O2 -c wcsutrn.c
In file included from lex.wcsutrn.c:5103:
/usr/include/unistd.h:441: error: conflicting types for 'read'
lex.wcsutrn.c:4793: error: previous implicit declaration of 'read' was here
make[2]: *** [wcsutrn.o] Error 1
make[2]: Target `lib' not remade because of errors.
make[1]: *** [../C/libwcs-4.2.a] Error 2

The problems appears to be that files wcsulex.c and wcsutrn.c were generated by a flex incompatible with the unistd.h file on a 64 bit machine. The fix is to touch the files wcsulex.l and wcsutrn.l to change their file dates. Then when you issue make, the 64 bit flex will be used to reproduce these files and they can compile.

Also there a lots of warning of the kind

wcs.c:1306: warning: cast from pointer to integer of different size

All are within a printf expressios.

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