Setting up Vala - Trying a new programming language

Here I am, trying to learn a new programming language. Actually it feels more like getting to know the child of an old friend. Vala is a little bit like C but in a modern way and a lot like C# without having to install a huge runtime when you just want a "Hello world"

If you want to learn more just go to

I am using Mint. An Ubuntu derivative so these instructions reflect that.

I'll first share my odyssey and then the instructions that actually worked.

Installing Vala is very easy as it is already in the repositories. After installation I was able to follow the tutorial..

After I installed vala I set up to try "valide" a vala specific IDE and that's when my problems started.

I got valide's SVN trunk version and tried to "configure" according to the README but I was missing two libraries
- GtkSourceView
- The vala development libraries libvala-dev

I downloaded GtkSourceView from the official repository, compiled and installed according to the instructions.

I installed libvala-dev from the distro repository

Tried to "configure" valide again but failed complaining about libvala being an an older version.

Back to uninstall vala and libvala from the repositories.

Downloaded the latest vala release 0.5.6 and tried to "./configure". It complained about configure: error: flex not found but required so I downloaded other versions, same error. Well, apparently an undocumented dependency.

I installed flex from the repositories.
Back to configure vala: configure: error: bison not found but required. Another undocumented dependency
I installed bison from the repositories

Finally I was able to compile and install vala but when I tried to compile my "hello world" I got an error loading the libraries. I searched for a solution and found that vala must be configured with prefix=/usr.

After uninstall, configure and compiling it again, vala passed the test

I downloaded the tar.gz source for valide and tried to compile valide again. More problems.

I tried using different versions of vala until I finally found that the only version it worked with is vala 0.5.1!

After that, valide compiled... but when launching gave an error finding libraries. So, uninstall, distclean and reconfigure valide with prefix=/usr.

Finally! everything works! so here are the steps:

Install vala
1. Install vala dependencies
sudo apt-get install flex bison

2. Download vala 0.5.1 from the official site
3. Compile vala
tar -xvjf vala-0.5.1.tar.bz2
cd vala-0.5.1
./configure --prefix=/usr
sudo make install

Install GtkSourceView required by valide
4. Get GtkSourceView from the official site
5. Compile GtkSourceView
tar -xvzf gtksourceview-2.4.2.tar.gz
cd gtksourceview-2.4.2
sudo make install

Install valide
6. Get valide from the official site
5. Compile valide
tar -xvzf valide-0.2.0.tar.gz
cd valide-0.2.0
cp gtk+-2.0.vapi.diff /usr/share/vala/vapi
cd /usr/share/vala/vapi
patch -p0 < gtk+-2.0.vapi.diff
(note, when asked for which file to patch enter gtk+-2.0.vapi)
rm gtk+-2.0.vapi.diff
./waf configure --prefix=/usr
sudo ./waf install