Installing CERN ROOT on Debian GNU/Linux 6 (squeeze)

by Ricardo Yanez
Last updated: December 29, 2011

squeeze version (bookworm, bullseye, buster, stretch)

ROOT v5.18/00 is part of Debian Lenny 1 and was maintained by Christian Holm Christensen. During the last freezing cycle leading to the current Debian stable version (Squeeze), ROOT was removed from testing and subsequently removed from unstable aswell. There has been no explanation as to why ROOT did not make it to Squeeze 2. There may be license issues, or lack of time to maintain. Whatever the reason, there is a strong need to have debs available in a repository, that are compliant with current Debian stable.

The arduous effort to make Debian packages of ROOT available in a repository stems from the need to install ROOT in various computers used by students and faculty. The large size of ROOT makes it unsuitable for repetitive plain compilation of the source code.

The following Debian repository for ROOT with the latest Pro release (5.32/00) is meant to be as Debian 6.0 (Squeeze) compliant as possible. In particular, the update from v5.18/00 in Debian 5.0 (Lenny) should be unbreakable.

Install the archive key,

gpg --keyserver hkp:// --recv-keys E046B9C0
gpg --export E046B9C0 | apt-key add -

Insert in /etc/apt/sources.list,

deb squeeze main
deb-src squeeze main

Update and fresh install,

aptitude update
aptitude install root-system


aptitude update
aptitude full-upgrade

if upgrading from oldstable (Lenny) version.

Some notes

ROOT provides scripts to build Debian packages. However, these are currently non-working in Debian Squeeze.

The present debianization is made by fixing the debianization for Lenny made by Christian Holm Christensen through a series of patches applied to the scripts. In particular, support for UNURAN and the xrootd plugin are restored. The original source code distributed by the ROOT development team is kept untouched.

The packages and the archive are signed with my personal PGP keyring. This is done to give some sense of protection. If security is a concern, the Debian source packages can be downloaded and the entire set of packages re-created by the commands,

apt-get source root-system
debuild binary

The compilation may take a few hours.

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