Howto: Compile MaCoPiX 1.4.1 under Edgy

First, an additional thank-you to Cake en Soda for pointing this out. This is a fun, low-level eye candy application that shouldn’t tax your system too much, and will give you something funky to show off to your Windows friends. And if you’re an anime fan, you’ll go nuts over it.

MaCoPiX puts a small animated character on your window frames, like this:

You can change the mascot, and each one has different animations. There are a lot of other nifty options too — like polling your account for new e-mails (although to be honest, I haven’t played with that) and some other things. Play around with it and check out all the bells and whistles.

Most of the dependencies are actually listed on the site’s home page. I’ve listed them here as Ubuntu packages, so you don’t have to hunt down the dev versions.

sudo aptitude install build-essential checkinstall pkg-config libgdk-pixbuf-dev libglib2.0-dev libgtk2.0-dev gettext

I should note that I’ve compiled it twice now, and the second time I left out libgdk-pixbuf-dev, with no side effects. If for some reason you’re getting error messages, that might be the suspect package. I only mention it because libgdk-pixbuf-dev is in the universe repository, so make sure you have that one enabled before you try to install that.

Of course, you’ll need build-essential if you want to compile anything, even a note from your mother. I use checkinstall over make install mostly because I like to be able to remove something later, and because it makes a deb package so I don’t have to recompile it next time. But that’s up to you.

Grab the source file from the MaCoPiX installation page either with that link, or by using wget from a terminal line.


Decompress that file, and change into the directory it makes.

tar -xzvf macopix-1.4.1.tar.gz
cd macopix-1.4.1

Now configure.


By default MaCoPiX will use the gtk2.0 environment; if you’re on a very old machine, or if you just enjoy the torture of a gtk1.2 environment, you’ll need to add the 1.2 dev files and configure it with the flag for 1.2. Check the configure help for more information on that.

It won’t take long to finish. When it does, go straight to make.


And when that finishes, build your deb package with checkinstall.

sudo checkinstall

If I remember right, the actual macopix command is put in /usr/local/bin, so you must use sudo with that command.

Great! It’s finished, right? Almost. You can’t do anything with MaCoPiX until you install a mascot set. Take a look at this page, which lists the sets and explains how to install them into the MaCoPiX structure. It’s not hard; it’s really just downloading the file, decompressing it and then

macopix -a -O -m {name_of_mascot_set}.menu

MaCoPiX will do the rest. From there you’ll have the option to pick a mascot, configure it, configure mailbox options, animation sequences — everything. Running MaCoPiX after you have a mascot set is done with the plain old macopix command. Use the --help flag for more information.

That’s it! 😀


5 thoughts on “Howto: Compile MaCoPiX 1.4.1 under Edgy

  1. Anmol

    Why compile when debs and rpms are available ?.
    It works on my system but have Japanese locale.

  2. K.Mandla Post author

    I found debs posted somewhere a few weeks ago, but they were an earlier verison and I couldn’t read the page (I think it was in Japanese). And it’s not a difficult or time-consuming application to compile.

    If you have links, please let me know where they are. I try to avoid compiling whenever I can. 😉

  3. Bozon

    MaCoPiX 1.6.3 compiled under Feisty fails checkinstall because it tries to overwrite /usr/bin/gcc. How can I correct this?

  4. dennis

    thank you, i was breaking my head in how to make that work, and i had only downloaded the mascot, nice guide


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