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GAP the Groups, Algorithms, and Programming-tool
(developed by two groups, one in St. Andrews, the other in Aachen) is
the package if you want to work with (finite or finitely
presented) groups, but it has also some routines for algebras, fields,
division algebras, Lie algebras and the like. For years now it is
available on MacClassic but since the last clean install of my
computer I removed it as I was waiting for a Mac OS X-port to be
distributed soon. From time to time I checked the webpage at
but it seems that no one cared for OS X. For my “The book of
-project I need a system to make lots of examples so perhaps
one could just as well install the UNIX-version. Fortunately, I did a
last desperate Google on GAP OS X which brought me to the
Aachen-pages of the GAP-group where one seems to be more Macintosh
minded. The relevant page is the further notes for OS X on the
GAP-installation for UNIX-page. Here is what I did to get GAP running
under OS X. First go to the download page (btw. this page has
version 4.4 whereas St-Andrews is still distributing 4.3) and download


This will give you three tar-files on your Desktop. Fire
up the Terminal and make a new directory /usr/local/lib if
it doesn’t exist yet. Then, go to your Desktop folder and do

cp gap4r4.tar /usr/local/lib sudo cp xtom1r1.tar /usr/local/lib cd
/usr/local/lib sudo tar xvf gap4r4.tar sudo tar xvf

Then return to your Desktop Folder and copy the
remaining tar-file in the /usr/local/lib/gap4r4/pkg-folder which
is created by untarring the former two files and untar it as above.
Then, it is time to compile everything (assuming you have installed the
Developer’s tools) and there is one magic OS X-command which will
speedup GAP by 20%. Here is what to do

/usr/local/lib/gap4r4 sudo ./configure sudo make COPTS="-fast

and everything will compile nicely. If you
are so lucky as to have a G5-system, you should replace the last command
by sudo make COPTS=”-03″. Finally, get everything in the right

cd /usr/local/lib/gap4r4/bin sudo cp

and if /usr/local/bin is in
your $PATH then typing gap at the command line will give
you the opening GAP-banner :

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