Compiling Pine for DH Debian


I’d like to compile my own version of Pine here at DH so that I can make a few customizations. I compiled Pine for Debian a long time ago and it was not straightforward because of some Debian weirdnesses. Can someone post instructions for what I need to do? E.g., do I use apt-get? If so, from what server and directory (it used to be in non-free)? Are there any DH-specific changes to the source that I need to make? I know how to do the tweaks that I want to do. What about compiling – do I do

./build clean ./build xxx

and what do I put for xxx? Does anyone know if compiling in SSL support works, i.e., is DH set up with openSSL and the correct directories?

Thanks for any tips,


IIRC, ‘./build slx’ works fine for me on debian systems.

The version we’re using now on most machines is 4.40 with the fancy threads patch, and this has built fine for me on all of our systems (getting SSL to work might be a bit tricky, although i think it should be pretty straightforward on our hosting machines). The openssl stuff (and include files / libraries) should all be installed.


Thanks for the info Will. So I can just get the Pine source from the UW and do my tweaks and `build slx’ and I don’t need to do any extra Debian-specific or DH-specific tweaks? Is the Pine source, with the patches that are used here, available on my machine (jareth) so I can just edit those source files? Or at least look at them.

It would be great if the next time that you compile Pine for DH you compiled it with SSL support and the option for users to use a PASSFILE. There are lots of remote IMAP and NNTP servers that require SSL and I’d like to be able to access them using Pine on DH. An example of an NNTP server that requires SSL is



you don’t need to do anything dh-specific; i literally applied eduardo’s fancy threads patch to generic UW 4.40 source, and ran ‘build slx’.

looks like i was wrong w/r/t ssl:

andor% pine -supported
Supported features in this Pine

None (no TLS or SSL)

i’m testing it now, but i think something like:
./build SSLDIR=/usr SSLCERTS=/etc/ssl/certs slx
should work.

most of our users only use PINE on our systems, but i’ll consider doing the next build with SSL support.

note that it is possible to get passwordless authentication with our system using ssh authentication. defining a PASSFILE might be a good idea too though (perhaps set it equal to $PINE_PASSFILE so that people can define it themselves).

hope this helps.


Thanks for your reply Will. If you’d like someone to help test an SSL/TLS or PASSFILE enabled Pine, I’d be happy to help!

About whether such a Pine is needed at DH: I think that more and more people are starting to have multiple accounts that they use for all their email needs. I’m thinking this because of the large number of people who have been looking at my list of Free and Reasonably-Priced IMAP Providers, which is here

(Note that DH is in the list and I give you a thumb up!)

If you are someone who doesn’t like webmail (such as moi), it is very nice to be able to fire up Pine and access these IMAP servers over SSL/TLS and not have to type your password (because its in the Pine PASSFILE). Maybe not that many people want this now, but if the ability is there and they start using it, maybe they will wonder how they lived without it…




well let me know if you get your version working and if you had to do anything special to get it to compile nicely.

i just did a build of UW imapd with SSL and it wasn’t terribly difficult; i’m pretty sure PINE is even easier (did a test build of PINE with SSL as well and seemed to work fine).

next time i redo the package, i will look into including these things. obviously people are more than welcome to compile their own version as well…