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3. System Specific Installation Issues
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Chapter II. Installing Bluefish

3. System Specific Installation Issues

Different systems have different approaches to solutions and packaging. You might find the information below interesting.


  • You need to install the following packages:
    • From the Admin section: cygrunsrv (installs a necessary service to Windows)
    • From the Base section: all packages in this section should be installed by default
    • From the Devel section: ORBit2-devel, atk-devel, autoconf2.5, automake1.x (here we suggest automake1.7), binutils, bison, catgets, cvs, gcc, gettext, gettext-devel, glib2-devel, gtk2-x11-devel, libbonobo2-devel, libfreetype2-devel, libxml2-devel, make, minires-devel, openssl-devel, pango-devel, pcre, pcre-devel, pkgconfig
    • From the Gnome section: gnome-vfs2, libgnome2
    • From the Libs section: popt
    • From the X11 section: xorg-x11-devel, xorg-x11-base, xorg-x11-bin, xorg-x11-bin-dlls, xorg-x11-fenc, xorg-x11-fnts, xorg-x11-fsrv, xorg-x11-f100, xorg-x11-fcyr, xorg-x11-fscl
  • You may want to install the following optional packages:
    • From the Devel section: libxml2 (for the xmllint tool)
    • From the Gnome section: libgnomeui2
    • From the Interpreters section: python (only for Bluefish 1.1 and above)
    • From the Text section: aspell-dev (for spell-checker), aspell-LANG (dictionary for your language)
    • From the Utils section: bzip2 (to decompress bzip2-compressed archives), desktop-file-utils ( menu support), gnome-mime-data (old GNOME <= 2.4 MIME support), shared-mime-info ( shared MIME-info database)
    • From the Web section: tidy, wget (to download Bluefish archives)
    • From the X11 section: hicolor-icon-theme
  • Fetch the source and compile it as explained in Section 4, “Installing a Bluefish Source Distribution”.
  • To run Bluefish, you need to start the cygrunsrv Service. First log in to a Cygwin-Shell and run /usr/bin/cygserver-config. Answer Yes to install cygserver as service. Then open a Windows shell with the START button of your Windows box and choose Run. Type cmd.exe or command.exe, hit enter and type net start cygserver. To automatically start the service with Windows, set Starttype for cygrunsrv to Automatic (see Start > Control Panel > Computer Administration > Services and Applications > Services : CYGWIN cygserver : Properties). To stop the service, type net stop cygserver.
  • To allow Bluefish to use the Cygserver facilities (to use the XSI IPC function calls like msgget successfully) you need to export the CYGWIN environment variable. Add the following line to your ~/.bash_profile:
    $ export CYGWIN=server
  • To run Bluefish, first start the X server with startx, then launch bluefish with /usr/bin/bluefish.exe (if you have configured bluefish with ./configure --prefix=/usr).

For further details, see the Compile Bluefish for Cygwin wiki page.


  • Debian Woody (the current Stable) has an old GTK 2.0.2 version, that contains several known bugs, but they are not serious.
  • Debian Sarge (currently in Testing) has Bluefish 1.0 and GTK 2.6.4 version.
  • Debian Sid (Unstable) will always have the latest Bluefish version.


  • libpcre: Breaks pcre into 3 different pieces, make sure pcre-devel is installed if compiling from source. Try this command:
    $ rpm -ql pcre-devel
  • ... more nags with Mandrake?


  • Fink binary distribution for Mac OS X 10.1 has Bluefish 0.7 (unmaintained).
  • Fink for Mac OS X 10.2 has Bluefish 0.12 in binary or stable source distribution, and Bluefish 0.13 in unstable source branch.
  • Fink for Mac OS X 10.3 and 10.4-transitional has Bluefish 1.0 in binary distribution, Bluefish 1.0.4 in stable source branch, and Bluefish 1.0.5 in unstable source branch. The source branches have three variants: bluefish, bluefish-gnomevfs2, and bluefish-gnome2.
  • Fink's latest cvs version is always available from the Fink's maintainer experimental cvs tree. It is meant to run on Mac OS X 10.4.

If you have trouble starting bluefish with fink, first read the Fink's Faq page. If this does not solve your problem, send an email to the maintainer (michele.garoche(at), finally, as last resort, ask for help on the beginners or users Fink mailing lists or on the “#fink” channel on irc://


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