Installing Objective CAML requires about 10MB of free space on one's hard
disk drive. The software can easily be uninstalled without corrupting the
Installation under Windows
The file containing the binary distribution is called:
ocaml-2.04-win.zip, indicating the version number (here
2.04) and the operating system.
Objective CAML only works under recent versions
of Windows : Windows 95, 98 and NT.
Don't try to install it under Windows 3.x or
Now it's time to test the OCamlWin application by double-clicking on
it. You'll get the window in figure 1.1.
The file is in compressed (
.zip) format; the first thing to do
is decompress it. Use your favorite decompression software for this.
You obtain in this way a file hierarchy whose root is named ocaml.
You can place this directory at any location on your hard disk.
It is denoted by
<caml-dir> in what follows.
- This directory includes:
two subdirectories: bin for binaries and lib
- two ``text'' files: License.txt and Changes.txt
containing the license to use the software and the changes relative to
- an application: OCamlWin corresponding to the main application;
- a configuration file: Ocamlwin.ini which will need to be
modified (see the following point);
- two files of version notes: the first, Readme.gen, for this
version and the second, Readme.win, for the version under
- If you have chosen a directory other than
c:\ocaml as the
root of your file hierarchy, then it is necessary to indicate this in the
configuration file. Edit it with Wordpad and change the line
CmdLine which is of the form:
CmdLine=ocamlrun c:\ocaml\bin\ocaml.exe -I c:\ocaml\lib
CmdLine=ocamlrun <caml-dir>\bin\ocaml.exe -I <caml-dir>\lib
You have to replace the names of the search paths for binaries and
libraries with the name of the Objective CAML root directory. If we have chosen
C:\Lang\ocaml as the root directory (
CmdLine=ocamlrun C:\Lang\ocaml\bin\ocaml.exe -I C:\Lang\ocaml\lib
- Copy the file OCamlWin.ini to the main system directory, that is,
C:\winnt according to the
installation of your system.
The configuration of command-line executables, launched from a DOS window,
is done by modifying the PATH variable and the Objective CAML library
search path variable (CAMLLIB), as follows:
Figure 1.1: Objective CAML window under Windows.
<caml-dir> is replaced by the path where
Objective CAML is installed.
These two commands can be included in the autoexec.bat file which
every good DOS has. To test the command-line executables, type the command
ocaml in a DOS window. This executes the file:
corresponding to the Objective CAML. text mode toplevel. To exit from this
To install Objective CAML from source under Windows is not so easy,
because it requires the use of commercial software, in particular the
Microsoft C compiler. Refer to the file Readme.win
of the binary distribution to get the details.
Installation under Linux
The Linux installation also has an easy-to-install
binary distribution in the form of an rpm. package. Installation
from source is described in section
The file to download is:
which will be used as follows with root privileges:
rpm -i ocaml-2.04-2.i386.rpm
which installs the executables in the /usr/bin directory and the
libraries in the /usr/lib/ocaml directory.
To test the installation, type: ocamlc -v
which prints the version of Objective CAML installed on the machine.
The Objective Caml compiler, version 2.04
Standard library directory: /usr/lib/ocaml
You can also execute the command ocaml which prints the
header of the interactive toplevel.
Objective Caml version 2.04
The # character is the prompt in the interactive toplevel.
This interactive toplevel can be exited by the
#quit;; directive, or by typing
The two semi-colons indicate the end of an Objective CAML phrase.
Installation under MacOS
The MacOS distribution is also in the form of a
self-extracting binary. The file to download is:
ocaml-2.04-mac.sea.bin which is compressed. Use your favorite
software to decompress it. Then all you have to do to install it is launch
the self-extracting archive and follow the instructions printed in the
dialog box to choose the location of the distribution.
For the MacOS X server distribution, follow the installation from source under
Installation from source under Unix
Objective CAML can be installed on systems in the Unix
family from the
source distribution. Indeed it will be necessary to compile the Objective CAML
system. To do this, one must either have a C compiler on one's Unix,
machine, which is generally the case, or download one such as
gcc which works on most Unix. systems. The Objective CAML distribution
file containing the source is: ocaml-2.04.tar.gz. The file INSTALL describes, in a very clear way, the various
stages of configuring, making, and then installing the binaries.
Installation of the HTML documentation
Objective CAML's English documentation is present also in the form of
a hierarchy of HTML files which can be found in the
docs directory of the CD-ROM.
This documentation is a reference manual. It is not easy reading for the
beginner. Nevertheless it is quite useful as a description of the
language, its tools, and its libraries. It will soon become indispensable
for anyone who hopes to write a program of more than ten lines.