I recently got the “Hey, you’re a Rust Person!” question of how to install notty and interact with it.
A TTY was originally a teletypewriter. Linux users will have most likely encountered the concept of TTYs in the context of the TTY1 interface where you end up if your distro fails to start its window manager. Since you use ctrl + alt + f[1,2,...] to switch between these interfaces, it’s easy to assume that “TTY” refers to an interactive workspace.
Notty itself is only a virtual terminal. Think of it as a library meant as a building block for creating graphical terminal emulators. This means that a user who saw it on Hacker News and wants to play around should not ask “how do I install notty”, but rather “how do I run a terminal emulator built on notty?”.
Get some Rust:
curl -sf https://raw.githubusercontent.com/brson/multirust/master/blastoff.sh | sh multirust update nightly
Get the system dependencies:
sudo apt-get install libcairo2-dev libgdk-pixbuf2.0 libatk1.0 libsdl-pango-dev libgtk-3-dev
git clone https://github.com/withoutboats/notty.git cd notty/scaffolding multirust run nightly cargo run
And there you have it! As mentioned in the notty README, “This terminal is buggy and feature poor and not intended for general use”. Notty is meant as a library for building graphical terminals, and scaffolding is only a minimal proof of concept.
Explanation: Getting Rust
Since the Rust language is still under active development, many features are available in the Nightly version of the compiler which are not yet available in Stable. If you got Rust from your package manager, you probably are using Stable. To check, run rustc --version and see whether the result says “nightly” in it.
Notty uses some features that’re available in Nightly but not Stable. If you try to compile it with Stable, you’ll get an error that makes this obvious:
Compiling notty v0.1.0 (file:///home/edunham/code/notty) src/lib.rs:16:1: 16:16 error: #[feature] may not be used on the stable release channel src/lib.rs:16 #![feature(io)] ^~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ error: aborting due to previous error Could not compile `notty`.
When you need to switch between Rust versions frequently, multirust is the tool for the job.
Explanation: Getting system dependencies
I’ve reproduced the following error messages in full to help out any confused new Rustaceans Googling for them:
Cairo is a graphics library that you can get from your system package manager. If you try to compile notty’s dependencies without it, you’ll get an error:
Build failed, waiting for other jobs to finish... failed to run custom build command for `cairo-sys-rs v0.2.1` Process didn't exit successfully: `/home/edunham/code/notty/notty-cairo/target/release/build/cairo-sys-rs-1d0cf50d5d2dab2f/build-script-build` (exit code: 101) --- stderr thread '<main>' panicked at '`"pkg-config" "--libs" "--cflags" "cairo"` did not exit successfully: exit code: 1 --- stderr Package cairo was not found in the pkg-config search path. Perhaps you should add the directory containing `cairo.pc' to the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable No package 'cairo' found ', /home/edunham/.multirust/toolchains/nightly/cargo/registry/src/github.com-0a35038f75765ae4/cairo-sys-rs-0.2.1/build.rs:9 note: Run with `RUST_BACKTRACE=1` for a backtrace.
The only other gotcha about the dependencies is that errors about gdk actually mean you need to install the libgtk-3-dev package:
failed to run custom build command for `gdk-sys v0.2.1` Process didn't exit successfully: `/home/edunham/code/notty/scaffolding/target/release/build/gdk-sys-e1b0a13b32593729/build-script-build` (exit code: 101) --- stderr thread '<main>' panicked at '`"pkg-config" "--libs" "--cflags" "gdk-3.0"` did not exit successfully: exit code: 1 --- stderr Package gdk-3.0 was not found in the pkg-config search path. Perhaps you should add the directory containing `gdk-3.0.pc' to the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable No package 'gdk-3.0' found ', /home/edunham/.multirust/toolchains/nightly/cargo/registry/src/github.com-0a35038f75765ae4/gdk-sys-0.2.1/build.rs:17 note: Run with `RUST_BACKTRACE=1` for a backtrace.
Compiling and running scaffolding necessarily builds a bunch of dependencies, some of which throw various warnings. You also might be able to crash scaffolding with an error such as:
thread '<main>' panicked at 'not yet implemented', .../notty/src/datatypes/mod.rs:160
This, along with everywhere else that unimplemented!() occurrs in the notty source code, is an opportunity for you to contribute and help improve the project!