Building Unison

Having switched over to a Mac laptop brings with it some challenges when my main desktop is still running Linux. Since I recently took the time to install Xubuntu on my desktop machine, I thought I’d get everything setup again so that I can seamlessly sync my data between my laptop and my desktop. To do this I needed to build a copy of Unison that was the same version as the version available in homebrew. In my case this was the 2.48.3 version of Unison.

First we’ll need some prerequisites. Unison is written in OCaml.

sudo apt-get install ocaml liblablgtk2-ocaml-dev

Next, we’ll set up a temporary directory and grab a copy of the version of Unison that we need.

mkdir tempBuild
cd tempBuild
wget ""\
tar xvfz unison-2.48.3.tar.gz

Finally, we’ll go into that directory, build unison, and copy it over to a directory in my path.

cd unison-2.48.3
make UISTYLE=text
make unison
mv unison /usr/local/bin/

Note, I chose to put unison in /usr/local/bin/ because this path is searched when I start a terminal in non-interactive mode. This is important because when I execute the unison command on my laptop it executes on the remote machine in non-interactive mode.

Written on December 4, 2015