PAKCS: The Portland Aachen Kiel Curry System

Installation Instructions

The current version of PAKCS runs on Unix-based platforms and has been developed and tested under Linux (Debian/Ubuntu). However, it should also run on similar platforms like Mac OS X or SunOS. If you want to install and run the complete system on your computer, you need the following software:

How to generate and install the PAKCS kernel:

  1. Go into the main directory of PAKCS (which contains this file). In the following, we assume that pakcshome is the name of this directory.
  2. If you have the executables sicstus (for SICStus-Prolog) or swipl (for SWI-Prolog) in your path, execute "make" which installs PAKCS. The environment variables SICSTUSDIR or SWIPROLOG are automatically set to appropriate values. These values are also stored in the home directory in file .pakcsinitrc so that they are available for future installations of new versions of PAKCS.
  3. Otherwise, modify in the shell script "pakcshome/pakcsinitrc" the definition of the variables SICSTUSDIR or SWIPROLOG according to your local installation, or pass these values to make, e.g., by
    make SICSTUSDIR=/opt/sicstus
    make SWIPROLOG=/usr/bin/swipl
    If both variables are undefined, the PAKCS compiler system cannot be installed.
  4. If you install PAKCS from the source code distribution, you need also the Glasgow Haskell Compiler (i.e., the executable "ghc" must be in your path) to compile the front end of PAKCS.
  5. Now, install PAKCS by "make" (if you have already an older installation of PAKCS, do "make clean" before).
  6. Add the directory "pakcshome/bin" to your path, e.g., by the command
    export PATH=pakcshome/bin:$PATH
    in the bash. If you do no want to have the specific version number of PAKCS included in your path, you can set a symbolic link like
    ln -s pakcs-<version> pakcs
    and put the directory pakcs/bin into your path. Now you can start the PAKCS compiler system via the command "pakcs".
  7. If you want, you can also execute "make libdoc" to generate a local version of the documentation of all system libraries by the CurryDoc tool into the directory "pakcshome/lib/CDOC". However, this is only necessary if you want to work offline since you can also access the documentation online at
  8. You can configure the behavior of PAKCS by various setting in a "pakcsrc" file. For doing so, copy the file pakcshome/pakcsrc.default as ".pakcsrc" (which will be automatically done when you start PAKCS for the first time) into you home directory and modify the settings.
  9. If you like to have support for line editing or history functionality in the PAKCS interactive environment (as supported by the readline library), you should have the Unix/Linux command "rlwrap" installed on your local machine. PAKCS uses "rlwrap" if called on a terminal without the parameter "--noreadline".

Configuring the installation

If you want to install the system at a location different from the build location, you have to specify the intended installation location at built-time with the parameter PAKCSINSTALLDIR. Furthermore, the final installation location must not exist during built time. For instance, to built PAKCS at some local directory and move it later to /opt/pakcs, you can do it by

make PAKCSINSTALLDIR=/opt/pakcs
mv /path/to/pakcs /opt/pakcs

Additional packages for specific libraries:

The distribution of PAKCS contains various additional packages and libraries. Some require additional software packages that are described below.

  1. If you want to use the library for GUI programming in Curry (pakcshome/lib/GUI.curry), you need also a Tcl/Tk implementation (including the windowing shell wish) which can be downloaded here) or installed in a Ubuntu distribution by
    sudo apt-get install tk tcl
    In this case, the windowing shell wish must be in your path (or you can also modify the definition of the function openWish in the library GUI.curry).
  2. If you want to use the database libraries (Database.*) or the web framework Spicey, the database SQLite must be installed together with the command line interface sqlite3. This can be done in a Ubuntu distribution by
    sudo apt-get install sqlite3

Changing system constants:

The distribution of PAKCS is configured with a maximal tuple arity of 15, i.e., Curry programs containing larger tuple sizes cannot be compiled. If you want to increase this size (usually, it is preferable to change your program), you have to change (in a source distribution of PAKCS) two system files and install your system as follows:

  1. Change the definition of the constant maxTupleArity in the files pakcshome/frontend/curry-frontend/src/Generators/GenFlatCurry.hs and pakcshome/src/ according to your required maximal arity.
  2. Delete the file pakcshome/lib/Prelude.fcy.
  3. Re-install PAKCS by make.

Hints for specific platforms

Ubuntu 7.10

If you install PAKCS from the binary Linux distribution, the pre-compiled executable of the front-end might not find the library This problem can be fixed by the following commands (executed as root):

cd /usr/lib 
ln -s 

If you use SWI-Prolog, you should install the packages swi-prolog as well as swi-prolog-clib from the Ubuntu distribution. The latter package is necessary if sockets, ports, and other system-oriented features should be used in Curry.

(Thanks to Sergio Antoy and Steffen Mazanek for these hints.)

Contact: Michael Hanus