[IronPython] Linux Support

Evan Klitzke evan at yelp.com
Wed Oct 31 09:22:27 CET 2007

Hi all,

I've been looking at IronPython a bit lately as an alternative to
CPython.  I've had some difficulties, however, getting it working on
Linux. I've just spent a few minutes trying to get it running under
mono, and I haven't been that impressed. Among various problems:

* Bad permissions in the .zip for 2.0a5 that make some files not
writable (not sure if it's possible to get the permissions right in a
zip archive, but still annoying)
* Makefile for 2.0a5 doesn't work
* Have to edit the Makefile for 1.1 to get it to work on Linux
* ipy.exe wants the user to use Ctrl-Z to exit (rather than Ctrl-D),
but this of course suspends the process on Linux

Most of these are pretty trivial problems, and things that I would
think ought to have simple fixes (e.g. write the Makefile to figure
out what OS it's on, have ipy.exe use Unix conventions on Unix
systems), which is why I'm somewhat surprised that a user trying to
run IronPython runs into these problems.

Then I had problems using modules in the standard library. This post
indicates that I should be able to import most modules from CPython.
So I set my IRONPYTHONPATH using Unix path convention and nothing
works. Eventually I figure out that I need to use the Windows
convention and use semicolons as the path separator (which is
inconvenient because semicolons need to be escaped in bash). After I
running ipy.exe hangs and I get an IOError (I think it tried to import
too many

After finally getting everything set up, I had problems getting
nontrivial programs to actually run, because of lacking module support
(in my case, MySQLdb, which uses the C API). The whole ordeal is
really frustrating, and it makes me wonder -- what is the status for
supporting Mono/Linux with IronPython?  Is there anyone in charge of
this right now? Does the IronPython team actually test IronPython on
Mono?  Are there plans to make running IronPython on Mono/Linux more
sane in the future, or is the Linux support just incidental for now?
Is anyone active in writing compatibility modules (such as MySQLdb)
for commonly used modules that can't be dropped in as replacements?

Evan Klitzke <evan at yelp.com>

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