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i'm trying to install a program which is supposed to work on any 64 bit unix environment with >12 Gb of RAM (which should include my Mac) but this is the only instruction the manual gives on installing.

2.2 Compiling instructions

From a GNU environment, simply type:

> make

Do GNU instructions count for Mac OSX?

that doesn't seem like enough info though? it seems i need to be in the right folder, or direct it to the right file?

i've installed X-code from the Mac OSX CD and got to the man page for make, the package i downloaded contains a makefile, is it just implied by those instructions that i direct the make command at that make file?

just typing make from within the directory seems right? does make know how to find the makefile automatically?

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did you try running just make from the directory where the Makefile is? what was the result? – Mat May 18 '11 at 5:49
tried that, and got 2 binaries, just not sure that was right, it threw a minor error "make: [cleanobj] Error 1 (ignored)" maybe i should just do it on the linux box instead. – Kirstin May 18 '11 at 6:14

This is what you can do on Mac OS X with installed Developer Tools (i.e. Xcode), yes.

Some of Mac OS X is based on Gnu (e.g. make), but it's possible you'll have problems appear later, if the developers targeted Gnu/Linux specifics not present on Mac OS X. Your only option is to follow the instructions and hope they work.

In section 2.1, the instructions state:

Velvet should function on any standard 64bit Linux environment with gcc.

You have gcc, you likely have 64 bit, but you don't have Linux.

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i've got 64 bit, Mac counst as unix but not true linux? i seem to have created binaries, is there any risk they'll somehow produce nonsense results, or is it a matter of "if it works it's right"? – Kirstin May 18 '11 at 6:16
@Bec Mac OS X is true Unix (POSIX certified, qualified for the Unix trademark license), but Linux is not. Linux is a Unix-like OS, but it has never been true Unix. Just because something compiles doesn't mean it will run correctly. That's what software quality assurance testing is for. Some software comes with code-level "unit tests", sometimes invoked with "make test", that can give you slightly more confidence that your newly-compiled software is running correctly on your system, but unit tests can't find all the bugs that full SQA testing might find. – Spiff May 18 '11 at 6:22
@Bec If they actually require Linux, then they might not even have compiled. You can't run your Mac OS X applications on Linux either, because both systems extend a common(ish) base, and if an application depends on these extensions, you're out of luck. If you were able to compile, and are able to run, I'd say you have a very good chance it works correctly. I can't think of anything right now that would prevent it from working. Possibly slightly different headers that result in different computation results, I'm not sure... – Daniel Beck May 18 '11 at 6:23

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