GLE 3.5 for Linux  


This page is rather out of date. For the latest information, see:

Instruction manual: A new instruction manual is available.
Screenshot: Click here for screenshot
Download (rpm): GLE-3.5-1.i386.rpm (an RPM file) 1533824 bytes (Updated 20/03/2003)
Download (compile-yourself): gle3.5-R0.23.linux.tar.gz (the source and font files) 975504 bytes (Updated 10/02/2002)
Emacs gle-mode: Click here for gle-mode page
Colours: Click here for a table of available colours
Wall chart: Click here for a wall chart
Examples: Click here for some examples

What is GLE?

GLE is a high performance tool for producing publication quality graphs and figures. It is somewhere between a graphical drawing program and a programming language. It produces PS (PostScript) or EPS (Encapsulated Postscript) output. It was originally written by Chris Pugmire in the early 1990s, but has recently been extended by Vincent LaBella at the University of Arkansas. It is currently in version 3.5, and the current release number is R0.23 (9th Feb 2001). This page gives a Linux-specific installation.

(If you want a Windows version, go to the GLE v3.5 homepage)

Instructions for installation:

RPM method
  1. GLE can now be installed using an RPM provided by Dr Torsten Seemann. To do this, download: GLE-3.5-1.i386.rpm and install in the usual way for RPMs. This installs on RH7.x (and probably RH8.0) in the directory /usr/local/gle/bin.

Compile it yourself method
  1. Uncompress the files

    tar xvzf gle3.5-R0.23.linux.tar.gz

    This will make a subdirectory gle35 from whichever directory you have placed the zip files.

  2. Check to see if you have the ANSIColor Perl module installed. The Perl module ANSIColor will already be installed on your system if your version of Perl is fairly new (I am told it is default with Perl 5.6). Try


    to check to see if it is there on your system. If it isn't, you can install it from the link further down this page. Or, you can choose not to bother, but then you will get a black-and-white text interface rather than the colour interface (see the screenshot).

  3. If you are running a new version of RedHat, e.g. version 7.0-7.2, there seems to be some problem with the new version of gcc which means that GLE3.5 no longer compiles correctly. Therefore, implement the solution indicated below.
    Problem with RedHat 7.0, 7.1, 7.2:
    The gcc compiler on RedHat 7 will not compile gle correctly. Here are two ways of solving this.
    1. One workaround which you can do to "downgrade" a RedHat 7.x system (to actually make it work!) is to do the following: (1) make sure egcs and egcs++ are intalled (if not, install the rpm) and then (2) change directory into /usr/bin and do
      mv gcc gcc-old
      ln -s egcs gcc
      mv g++ g++-old
      ln -s egcs++ g++

      A drastic solution, but it works.
    2. Torsten Seemann has managed to do a better job than my solution and has compiled gle without resorting to egcs. He used the standard Redhat 7.3 gcc-2.96-116.7.2 package but edited the file config.i to change
      LIBS :=-lstdc++ -lncurses
      LIBS :=-lstdc++ -lncurses -lm
    Problem with RedHat 8.0:
    Red Hat 8.0 reportedly leads to further problems which are not fixed by this. I have not tried RH8.0 yet myself, so I don't know what the problem is and hence I can offer no solution at present. I have heard that by adding using namespace std; at the top of some of the files, this problem can be fixed. Hopefully it won't be too long before I can get a version which works on everything!

  4. Type the following

    cd gle35

    [at this point you will be asked to choose the directory into which you install the executables and also whether you have the ANSIColor Perl module installed.]

  5. Then type

    make install [you may need to be root for this, depending on your choice of installation directory]
    make test [optional]

    The make test part simply makes the encapsulated Postscript for a simple test file and compares it with one generated earlier, reporting any differences. The only difference it should report is the time it was performed which is written in a header comment.

    (One word of warning: when you run make install, it will produce the message

    9: Could not open inittex.ini file

    This looks like an error message, but is perfectly normal. It cannot find inittex.ini so generates its own, which is what it is supposed to do.)

Instructions for installation of Perl module:

The Perl module ANSIColor should be already installed on your system if your version of Perl is fairly new (I am told it is default with Perl 5.6). Try


to check to see if it is there on your system. If it is not, you can install it by downloading the module from here.

ANSIColor-1.03.tar.gz (optional Perl module) 8312 bytes You may already have this installed if your Perl installation is reasonably up-to-date.


tar xvzf ANSIColor-1.03.tar.gz

change into the ANSIColor-1.03 directory and follow the instructions there. (This is very quick.)

The Perl module is part of the CPAN distribution. It is a small piece of code, but gives you a nice colour interface. It was written by Russ Albery. You could also get the same file straight from the CPAN archive by clicking here.


You can use the gle_ps command to run everything, but it is probably better to use the 'gle' command which allows you to do things like

gle -deps *.gle
or gle -dps a*.gle

(This will only work nicely if you have installed the ANSIColor Perl module.)

The file 'gle' can be placed anywhere, but it helps to be in a directory which is in your current path.

Changes from Vincent LaBella's R0.23 version:

(1) Edited makefile and config.i to work under Linux, (2) converted files to remove Windows carriage returns, (3) included new configure script, (4) included Perl wrapper which allows you to use wildcards on the command-line, and (5) rezipped all the source-files and font-files so that they open from a single-file. (6) Updated sample_compare.eps. (7) Added compiler option -lm to fbuild compiler options in the makefile.

Historical version:

If you want to play with GLE as it used to be, here is the original 3.3 version of GLE, complete with various utilities.
gle-3.3h-linux-src.tar.gz (the source and font files) 1608640 bytes

Further links:

Acknowledgments: Thanks to Till Burkert, Bryn Jeffries and Rainer Schork for some useful comments on the installation. Thanks to Vincent LaBella and Chris Pugmire for GLE. Thanks to David Parfitt for the GLE manual. Thanks to Graham Lee for the emacs gle-mode. Thanks to Torsten Seemann for the new RPM and other suggestions.

Stephen Blundell. Page last updated 20th March 2003.