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Revision Date Username Comment
811 Feb 2013 - 12:19zing0021? 
708 Sep 2012 - 14:32KevinViratyosinAdded instructions to mkdir /usr/local/lib 
608 Sep 2012 - 11:58KevinViratyosinAdded instructions to add symbolic link for Resources folder 
506 Sep 2012 - 22:33KevinViratyosinAdded new Installation Instructions for OS X 10.8

Deleted old instructions

Modified step 10. for OS X to indicate that one must open a new Terminal window. 
424 Jan 2012 - 20:52russe328? 
329 Sep 2010 - 11:03frank511? 
225 Sep 2010 - 14:49frank511? 
112 Jun 2009 - 02:18rock0136? 

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You are here: UMWiki>CSCI1901 Web>InstallingMITScheme (11 Feb 2013, zing0021)

Installing MIT Scheme

These are directions for installing MIT Scheme on your own Linux or Mac computer. You don't have to install MIT Scheme on your ITLabs account. It's already installed.

You also do not have to follow these directions if you are using the Linux image from the "Setting up your own computer" page. It already includes Scheme.

Installing on Ubuntu Linux

If you are running 32 bit versions of Ubuntu run "sudo apt-get install mit-scheme emacs" and you are done.

If you are running 64 bit versions of Ubuntu download this Debian Package.

To install "cd" to your download directory and run "sudo dpkg -i mit-scheme-x64_9.0.1-1_amd64.deb", this will probably fail. Regardless of the outcome of the previous command run "sudo apt-get install -f emacs".

As the package works now it doesn't properly start with typing scheme. To fix this run "sudo ln -s -T /usr/local/bin/mit-scheme-x86-64 /usr/local/bin/mit-scheme". You should be able to use scheme just like at school.

Installing MIT Scheme on Mac OS X


0. Your Mac should be running Mountain Lion. If it isn't, you may still be OK as long as you have an Intel processor.

0. You have access to an administrative account on your computer. You will be using a command requiring an administrator password.

1. Download the correct binary file (i386 or x86-64) for your computer from this site: http://www.gnu.org/software/mit-scheme/

2. Mount the downloaded .dmg (double-click it in Finder).

3. Drag the "MIT/GNU Scheme.app" into the Applications folder. (You can put it elsewhere, however, note that the directories given in the following steps may need to be adjusted accordingly.)

4. (If the folders don't already exist) Enter into Terminal:

sudo mkdir /usr/local ; sudo mkdir /usr/local/lib

5. Open the Terminal.app and type:

sudo ln -s /Applications/MIT\:GNU\ Scheme.app/Contents/Resources /usr/local/lib/mit-scheme-x86-64
Note that if you've downloaded the i386 version, replace "x86-64" here with "i386"

After you press enter, you will be required to enter the administrative password. Note: Don't be surprised when characters don't appear when you type the password – this is a common UNIX security feature.

6. Then type:

sudo ln -s /usr/local/lib/mit-scheme-x86-64/mit-scheme /usr/bin/scheme

7. Now, confirm that this works by entering the command "scheme" into the Terminal. The interpreter should load.

8. This step and the following are somewhat optional. If you are comfortable with using emacs entirely in the terminal (i.e. emacs -nw), you may stop here. However, most of you will want to be able to use the same GUI windowed interface. If so, download it here: http://emacsformacosx.com/

9. Open the downloaded emacs dmg and drag the emacs application into your Applications folder.

10. In Terminal, type

touch ~/.profile; open ~/.profile

11. Copy the following line into the newly opened TextEdit and save:

alias emacs='/Applications/Emacs.app/Contents/MacOS/Emacs'

12. Now, open a new Terminal window, and confirm that this all works by opening scheme files like we did in lab with emacs. Everything should work the same. If things go badly, please post into the General Forum.


Quack is an Emacs package that promises better support for working with Scheme code. We haven't tried it, but you might find it helpful.
  • You have to copy the downloaded file into the /usr/share/emacs22/site-lisp folder
  • It adds color coding to certain things that you write in scheme to make it easier to read. That appears to be the biggest thing I have noticed

Installing MIT Scheme with Emacs on Windows

... is only for the very brave. Or, to install without Emacs, download the windows binary from here. You may follow the instructions listed here. Note that this is version 9.1.1. The version of Scheme on CSELabs machines at the time of this writing is 7.7.9. This may cause difficulties that you, the student, should be aware of. I recommend you test everything on the CSELabs machines before submitting it. The interpreter/editor Edwin that comes with it is also very gross. I recommend getting a different editor, like Notepad++, and editing your Scheme files there, and saving them. Then, load them into the interpreter. To evaluate an expression, you must perform a keyboard shortcut Control-x Control-e (Think of it as "eXpression: Execute!"). For example, type (+ 2 2) (or (load "somefile.scm")) into the interpreter, and then hit Control-x Control-e. Voila! That should have worked.
Topic revision: r8 - 11 Feb 2013 - 12:19:55 - zing0021
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