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Freebyte's Guide to free
Kylix programming

Free and non-free Kylix compilers
Porting from Windows (Delphi) to Linux
Deploying and distributing Kylix apps
Available components
Resources, eZines, articles
Related Freebyte pages
More Free Programming
Free Operating systems
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Borland's Kylix is one of the best and most convenient programming tools to create GUI applications (programs with a Graphical User Interface) on Linux.

Kylix is the Linux counterpart of Delphi, which now for almost a decade is the top Windows programming-tool.

One of Kylix strengths is that it opens the possibility of porting existing Windows (Delphi) programs to Linux, and creating cross-platform Windows/Linux/.NET applications.

Free and non-free Kylix compilers
Kylix Open Edition Free Delphi for Linux: compiler, IDE, debugger, RAD tool. Create Linux applications using Pascal or C++ without having to bother with low-level Linux stuff. You can only use this compiler to learn Kylix/programming on Linux, or create open source programs (GPL).
You can download Kylix open edition for free from: here.
For other purposes you need to purchase Kylix Professional or Enterprise.
Kylix Professional Industrial-strength Linux compiler, IDE, debugger - everything you need to swiftly create commercial Linux applications.
Kylix Enterprise Industrial-strength Linux compiler, IDE, debugger - everything you need to swiftly create commercial Linux applications.
Porting Delphi applications to Linux

One of Kylix' strengths is the ability to port existing Windows/Delphi applications to Linux. Delphi is a well established product with a large base of excellent third-party programming libraries and components, enabling the creation of fast and stable applications.

If your Windows application is entirely based around the Borland VCL framework, this should make porting to Linux easier, because the Kylix CLX framework has virtually the same programming interface as the Delphi VCL framework.

On the other hand, too much dependency on Windows API calls will complicate the job.

For more information, please see the whitepaper below.

Migrating your Delphi project to kylix Very useful whitepaper on how to convert a Delphi (Windows) application to a Kylix (Linux) application.
Installing and distributing Kylix programs
Making a Kylix-created application ready for installation on other Linux systems (running KDE or Gnome) is not straightforward - as explained below. While a typical Delphi application runs on all Win 32 systems without any special needs - just copy the executable onto the target computer and you are ready - a standard Kylix 3 application needs a bulky 8 Mb CLX library to be present (this can be reduced to 3 Mb for download using GZip).

To make matters worse, there is no download package available which installs the Kylix libraries on All current Linux distributions, and there is no official Borland CLX-library download location.

When you offer a Kylix-made program for download, a link to a download location for the CLX libraries is essential. And to avoid user-frustration, you would also like these CLX libraries to install without too many complications, on all current Linux distributions.

SourceForge offers CLX libraries for download suitable for only a limited number of Linux distributions; a more universal CLX library package is offered for download as well, but this fails to install correctly on a number of recent distributions, such as SuSE 9.0.

Recommended by Freebyte!

According to our tests, InstallMade solves the complications related to distributing and installing Kylix 1, 2 and 3 appliations.

InstallMade enables you to create packages of your Kylix applications, which install and run reliably on all current Linux distributions.

Packages created with InstallMade automatically install your application with the necessary Kylix libraries on the system of your users. Besides this, InstallMade is very easy to use.

During package creation, InstallMade first scans your executable for dependencies, and based on the information it collects, it includes the necessary libraries into the install package.

InstallMade comes in two versions:
InstallMade Open Edition
  Creates installation packages of programs made with Kylix Open Edition (freeware).
InstallMade Professional
($99 USD)
  Creates install packages for applications made with Kylix Professional and Enterprise

InstallMade gives you a choice of five different types of packages. Each type of packaging InstallMade creates is suitable for different purposes to assure maximum flexibility for the developer. During packages creation, InstallMade operates on principle of not making any unnecessary changes to the user's system on whitch the application is installed. The installer creates self contained environment for the application to run and all the system variables needed for the application to run are set dynamically on the local level.

(1) tar.gz package:
The tar.gz package contains an already predefined file structure for the program, a starting script and automatically created instruction how to install it. It is often preferred method of delivering applications in Linux because many people like to know what they are installing on the system.

(2) Stand-alone executable package;
The standalone executable is very convenient since it is just one self contained file, containing your program, the libraries, and any other files you wish to include. It can also substantially reduce the overall size of deployment, especially if the application depends on many additional files or whole directories full of files, for example demos, templates, sounds respiratory, picture catalogs and so on. The standalone executable can hold all of this in a double compressed form. The saving in size is more pronounced for a large applications which depends on many external files. By default the standalone executable is enabled to run. (it has the x bit on).
More information can be found here.

(3) Self -installable package:
The self-installable package is the most universal and will most likely work on a wide variety of Linux flavors. If specified it creates an Icon on the desktop and if possible a menu entry for KDE and GNOME. Additionally, during the installation it is possible to run a post-install script or an executable, a splash screen , etc. By default the self-executable is disabled (it has the executable 'x' bit turned off). The file can be enabled by the user, by turning the executable bit on, for example using chmod +x or the KDE konqueror Exec box in the file properties.

(4) RPM package:
The Linux RPM packages are distribution-version-specific. InstallMade is able to create a variety of RPM packages, but always it assumes the type of RPM package of the type the system is using during its creation.

(5) LCR package.
This produces a very small package. Most of the files inside the package are placed on any http enabled network site (compressed). During the installation on the client's system, the installer checks the presence and integrity of the needed files. If found, they are reused. If not, the installer will automatically download the missing files from the http site.
This approach eliminates redundancy of downloading the same shared objects over and over again, and the initial deployment package can be very small. The user needs to have an open connection to the web when installing your application.

We registered the professional edition of InstallMade and consider it a $ 99 USD well spent.

For more information, and to go to the InstallMade Website, please click here.

Kylix tools and libraries
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Kylix Resources
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Information wanted!
If you know of any good free programming tools, such as: compilers, databases, assemblers/disassemblers, components, libraries, languages, online books, help tools, icons, websites, which are not listed in the Freebyte programming section, please let us know!
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Last updated on March 09, 2004

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