The existing packages for Git on OpenIndiana are woefully out of date. Sure, they work, but they also pull in an ancient version of Python (2.4!). OpenIndiana already has much of what it needs, so building Git from source should be easy. To start with, install those packages needed for compiling and installing software from source.

$ pfexec pkg install developer/illumos-gcc
$ pfexec pkg install developer/gnu-binutils
$ pfexec pkg install system/header
$ pfexec pkg install system/library/math/header-math
$ pfexec pkg install developer/library/lint
$ pfexec pkg install compatibility/ucb
$ export PATH=/opt/gcc/4.4.4/bin:$PATH

Now we are ready to build and install Git from source.

$ ./configure
$ make
$ pfexec make install

And that is about how far most posts with regards to Git on Solaris will get you. But we desire more. What do we want? Man pages! When do we want them? Now! Okay, let’s get to it.

With the Documentation

To build Git’s documentation from source, there is quite a bit of setup needed. To start with, let’s get the numerous dependencies installed.


Retrieve the latest tarball for AsciiDoc and build using the usual command sequence. There is surprisingly little output for this one, but that is perfectly normal.

$ ./configure
$ make
$ pfexec make install


Super easy, just use the package.

$ pfexec pkg install text/gnu-gettext


The non-GNU version of getopt is provided in Solaris via the SUNWcs package. However, xmlto needs the GNU version that supports the --longoptions argument.

Download getopt, extract the tarball, open the Makefile in an editor and make the following changes:

  • Find and set LIBCGETOPT to 0
  • Find and set WITHOUT_GETTEXT to 1
  • Find and set INSTALL to ginstall

At this point make and pfexec make install should work, despite some suspicious compiler warnings.


Another easy one. Thank you to whomever builds these packages.

$ pfexec pkg install data/docbook


Docbook2X converts DocBook documents to man and Texinfo format which is how we get the git man pages. Before you can build it, however, you must install the XML::SAX Perl module.

$ pfexec perl -MCPAN -e 'install XML::SAX'
$ ./configure
$ make
$ pfexec make install
$ cd /usr/local/bin
$ pfexec ln -s docbook2texi docbook2x-texi
$ pfexec xmlcatalog --noout --add nextCatalog '' \
    file:///usr/local/share/docbook2X/xslt/catalog.xml --create /etc/xml/catalog

The symbolic link for docbook2x-texi is somethig I found somewhere when creating these instructions for Mac OS X and I have since forgotten the source. My apologies, and thanks, go out to whomever figured that out.


Compile and install xmlto by first ensuring that /usr/local/bin is in your PATH before /usr/bin (so it finds the getopt we just installed). Now the usual steps will suffice and we are nearly at our goal.

$ ./configure
$ make
$ pfexec make install

Finally, Git’s documentation

Hallelujah, we’re finally ready to build Git’s documentation! Just one little modification to a makefile and we’re ready to go. Edit the Documentation/Makefile and add --skip-validation to XMLTO_EXTRA; my build had trouble fetching the Docbook DTD for some unknown reason.

And now to build the docs. Prepare to wait a while, it is a slow process.

$ make doc info
$ pfexec make install-doc install-html install-info

Now you can type git help checkout and finally get the man page. Woohoo!