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The following section describes how to install MHonArc on your system.


Make sure to read the release notes before installing MHonArc, especially if you are upgrading from a previous release. If you are reading the text version of this installation document, a text version of the release notes, RELNOTES, exists within the root of the MHonArc distribution.

For the Impatient

If you cannot wait to get going, try one of the following:

Where X.X.X represents the version number, and X.X.X-n represents the version and release number of the RPM. Generally, the release number is equal to '1'.

If there were problems doing the above, then keep reading.

Vendor Supplied Packages

Some software system vendors provide MHonArc, usually as an optional package. The following links provide vendor-supplied versions of MHonArc:

Debian GNU/Linux
Linux (multiple vendors/distros)

Choosing to go with a vendor-supplied package depends on your needs. Here are some things to consider:

  • Some vendors may have their own QA process along with their own support services while others may provide MHonArc as a contributed package with no additional support.

  • Vendor/distro versions of MHonArc tend not to reflect the latest release since there is a latency between a new release made available from mhonarc.org to when vendors are able to download and create their own packages. This difference can be important depending on what MHonArc features or fixes you need.

In general, if your vendor provides their own QA and support services for the software they provide, it is usually best to use the vendor's version of MHonArc. However, if the vendor does not provide additional support, and/or you need the latest features and fixes, you may want go with what is provided from mhonarc.org.

If you require professional support and consulting, see Contacts for contact information.

This document does not cover any installation details for vendor supplied packages. See your vendor's supplied documentation for installation instructions.

System Requirements

The following is required to run MHonArc:

Downloading MHonArc

The homepage for MHonArc is <http://www.mhonarc.org/>. The homepage list various sites that you can download MHonArc.

MHonArc is distributed in the following formats:

Where X.X.X represents the version number, and X.X.X-n represents the version and release number of the RPM. Generally, the release number is equal to '1'. Choose the format that best suits your environment.


A source RPM, MHonArc-X.X.X-n.src.rpm, is also provided for those that need to create custom RPM bundles.


Alternate distribution formats for MHonArc may be available from third-parties. Alternate distribution formats are not covered in this document.

If you downloaded the RPM distribution, goto RPM Installation. If you downloaded one of the other formats, goto Extracting the MHonArc Distribution.

RPM Installation

RPM is a widely used software package manager for various Linux-based systems and other Unix-based environments. If the software on your system is managed by RPM, you may prefer to install MHonArc via RPM:

prompt> rpm -Uvh MHonArc-X.X.X-n.noarch.rpm


RPM-based installation requires that the perl executable is located at /usr/bin/perl. If you have perl installed in a different location, you can download the src RPM and edit the RPM spec file to reflect your system's configuration.

MHonArc files will be installed in the following locations:

/usr/bin Program files: mhonarc, mha-dbedit, ...
/usr/lib/MHonArc Library files.
/usr/share/doc/MHonArc-X.X.X Documentation, examples, and extras.
/usr/share/man/man1 Manpages.

It is highly likely that you will need to have root priviledges to install via RPM. If you do not have root access, or you want to install in a non-standard location, you either need to create a new RPM from the source RPM or install MHonArc from the non-RPM bundles.

Once the install is completed, you can skip to Post Installation Configuration.


RPM distributions have been directly available starting with MHonArc v2.6.5. However, alternate RPM packages are available for current and older versions via third parties and some Linux distros. Goto <http://www.rpmfind.net/linux/rpm2html/search.php?query=MHonArc> to get a list of third-party RPM bundles.

Extracting the MHonArc Distribution


If doing an RPM-based install, goto RPM Installation above.

After downloading the MHonArc distribution, move the file to a temporary location for extraction. For extraction under Unix-like systems, use one of the following commands based upon the distribution format you downloaded:

prompt> bzip2 -dc MHonArc-X.X.X.tar.bz2 | tar xvf -
prompt> gzip -dc MHonArc-X.X.X.tar.gz | tar xvf -
prompt> unzip MHonArc-X.X.X.zip

For Win32 systems, you can use a program like WinZip to extract the tar-gzip or zip formats. If using Cygwin, use the Unix-based extraction methods.


If your are using Cygwin and the cygwin build of Perl, then the installation and usage of MHonArc is the same as a Unix-based environment.

After extraction, the subdirectory MHonArc-X.X.X will have been created containing all the files comprising MHonArc.


Please read the release notes before continuing for any news about compatibility with previous versions and/or important usage information.

Now, change your current directory to MHonArc-X.X.X for the next step. On a Unix-type system, use the following command:

prompt> cd MHonArc-X.X.X

Installing with install.me

Provided in the MHonArc distribution is a Perl program, install.me, for installing MHonArc on your system. To run the program, type the following command:

prompt> perl install.me


You must be in the same directory as the install.me program when you run it.

The installation program will ask you a series of questions on where the perl executable is and where to put MHonArc files. Just hit <Enter> to accept the default values listed in ()'s.


The default values are determined by the configuration of perl on your system. If you choose the defaults, you may need root/admin privileges to successfully install MHonArc.

install.me can take several options on the command-line to affect what is done during installation. The following is the list of options available:

  -afs                  : Skip permission checks (useful if AFS)
  -batch                : Run in batch mode (do not ask questions)
  -binpath <path>       : Directory path to install programs/scripts
  -docpath <path>       : Directory path to install documentation
  -help                 : A message summarizing options available
  -libpath <path>       : Directory path to install library files
  -filelist <file>      : List of files to install (def="FILELIST")
  -manpath <path>       : Directory path to manpages
  -nobin                : Do not install programs
  -nodep                : Skip module dependency check
  -nodoc                : Do not install documentation
  -nolib                : Do not install library files
  -noman                : Do not install manpages
  -perl <pathname>      : Pathname of perl interpreter
  -prefix <path>        : Set prefix for installation directories

For example, if you do not want to install the documentation, do the following:

prompt> perl install.me -nodoc

Later on, if you decide you want to install the documentation, but not re-install the other files, do the following:

prompt> perl install.me -nobin -nolib -noman

If you want to install files relative to your home directory, do the following:

prompt> perl install.me -prefix $HOME

install.me Notes

The Perl 5 Way

Of course, you can install MHonArc the standard way under Perl 5:

prompt> perl Makefile.PL
prompt> make
prompt> make install

If you want to install in a specific directory, try:

prompt> perl Makefile.PL PREFIX=/tmp/myperl5
prompt> make
prompt> make install


install.me is actually called "behind the scenes" in batch mode to install the files. Therefore, alternate variations of invoking perl Makefile.PL may not be supported.

Win32 Notes

Alternate Operating Systems

In many cases, install.me works for other operating systems. Please contact the author on any success stories for other operating systems, and please send any patches, if required.

Manual Installation

If install.me does not work for your system, here is how to install MHonArc manually:

Post Installation Configuration

After installation, you may want to do some site-specific configuration.

Default Resource File

You have the ability to create a default resource file to make site-wide defaults for MHonArc. See the DEFRCFILE resource on valid pathname locations for the default resource file. For more information on what can be put in a resource file, see the Resources section.


It is advisable to create some local documentation for users describing any settings you place in the site-wide resource file. This will avoid confusion if site settings vary from default settings described in the documentation, and it will help avoid invalid bug reports.

Site Initialization Library

If you do not know Perl, ignore this section.

When MHonArc opens an archive for processing, MHonArc will attempt to execute the instructions in the file mhasiteinit.pl. This file allows you to make site customizations not possible through a default resource file. mhasiteinit.pl should be placed in the MHonArc library directory as specified during installation. A sample mhasiteinit.pl file is provied in the examples directory of the distribution to get you started, which includes comments on some of the things you can do with mhasiteinit.pl.

Resource File Editing

If you are a Vim user, <http://www.vim.org/>, a syntax file for MHonArc resource files is included in the examples directory: mhonarc.vim. Vim is known to run on a variety of operating systems, and is free software.

To use mhonarc.vim, copy mhonarc.vim to an appropriate location and add something like the following to your .vimrc file:

  au BufNewFile,BufRead *.mrc	so $HOME/share/vim/syntax/mhonarc.vim

Of course, change the pathname to mhonarc.vim to wherever you copied it to.

Now, any file with .mrc extension will put Vim into MHonArc resource file highlighting mode. The mode is best used with color-capable terminals.

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$Date: 2005/05/13 00:00:35 $
Copyright © 1997-2003,2005 Earl Hood, mhonarc@mhonarc.org