Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've downloaded the source and tried to install via the README instructions:

sudo make install

but I get the following errors:

python  build
running build
running build_mo
warning: hgbuildmo: could not find msgfmt executable, no translations will be built
running build_py
running build_ext
building 'mercurial.base85' extension
gcc -pthread -fno-strict-aliasing -DNDEBUG -g -fwrapv -O2 -Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -fPIC -I/usr/include/python2.6 -c mercurial/base85.c -o build/temp.linux-x86_64-2.6/mercurial/base85.o
mercurial/base85.c:12:20: error: Python.h: No such file or directory
mercurial/base85.c: In function ‘b85prep’:
mercurial/base85.c:23: warning: implicit declaration of function ‘memset’
mercurial/base85.c:23: warning: incompatible implicit declaration of built-in function ‘memset’
mercurial/base85.c: At top level:
mercurial/base85.c:28: error: expected ‘=’, ‘,’, ‘;’, ‘asm’ or ‘__attribute__’ before ‘*’ token
mercurial/base85.c:76: error: expected ‘=’, ‘,’, ‘;’, ‘asm’ or ‘__attribute__’ before ‘*’ token
mercurial/base85.c:147: error: expected ‘=’, ‘,’, ‘;’, ‘asm’ or ‘__attribute__’ before ‘methods’
mercurial/base85.c:156: error: expected ‘=’, ‘,’, ‘;’, ‘asm’ or ‘__attribute__’ before ‘initbase85’
error: command 'gcc' failed with exit status 1
make: *** [build] Error 1

Keep in mind that I know I can install using:

sudo apt-get install mercurial

but that gets me an older version (1.4.3-1).

So, what's going on?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

From the line:

mercurial/base85.c:12:20: error: Python.h: No such file or directory

it seems that you don't have the development tools for python. Solve with:

sudo apt-get install python-dev
share|improve this answer

You don't have to build Mercurial by hand to get the newest version on Ubuntu. There is a PPA repository at

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mercurial-ppa/releases
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mercurial

By the way. There is also a PPA for TortoiseHG which offers a nice integration of Mercurial functionality in Nautilus:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tortoisehg-ppa/releases
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tortoisehg-nautilus
share|improve this answer
Thanks. That's good to know. – gvkv Jul 2 '10 at 23:12

You need to install gettext for msgfmt:

apt-get install gettext
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.