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Installing GeekGadgets

This tip is valid for: Both BeOS and Haiku

The enormous GeekGadgets collection includes a ton of BeOS ports of common Unix tools. Unfortunately, these tools assume you know how to bootstrap yourself — the Amiga-centric documentation they come with won’t give you the slightest clue how to get them running on BeOS. Here’s a crash course:

1) Create a GeekGadgets subdirectory in /boot/apps
2) Save the code below as a text file, located at

export GG=/boot/apps/GeekGadgets
export PATH=$GG/bin:$GG/X11R6.3/bin:$PATH
export C_INCLUDE_PATH=$GG/include
export SHELL=$GG/bin/bash
export CONFIG_SHELL=$GG/bin/bash

3) Open your ~/.profile or ~/config/boot/UserSetupEnvironment and add the
following line:

source /boot/apps/GeekGadgets/etc/

4) Save and close these files, then type source .profile into the shell to make the new environment variables take hold. Essentially, what you’ve done here is to create a new file containing environment variables specific to GeekGadgets, and invoked that file from .profile. By doing it this way, you decouple GG variables from the rest of your system variables, so you can remove them from your path and system memory at any time by removing the source line from .profile.

To install individual GeekGadgets programs, download them from directly into /boot/apps/GeekGadgets, (or move them there after downloading to your usual location) then double-click to let Expander decompress them. It’s important that they live in this location, and that you decompress all GG tools from your GG root.

You can install as little or as much of GeekGadgets as you like. Note that you can optionally download pre-compiled versions of most GeekGadgets utils (at least you can for x86; PowerPC utils may still require manual compilation).

Posted in Miscellaneous

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