However, that was not immediatley possible because Fortran was not available either, and Gfortran could not be compiled because it needed texinfo and mpfr, which again needed gmp.
I think this version of SuSE has too many holes like that, but it is speedier, pretty, and seems to support a lot of hardware.
I finally installed Octave by getting gmp-4.1.4, which is a multiprecision math library. The version number is very important, since gmp is halfway installed in Suse 10.1, and the point is to make it a full install, with the include files.
After compiling and installing gmp, I did the same for mpfr, which is more multiprecision arithmetic. Mpfr will mess up if gmp is not 4.1.4. (if you want to make check for mpfr you must do this after installing it, or the checks will not work.)
Before installing gcc, you must download texinfo and install it as well, since gcc needs it.
And then I downloaded gcc-4.1.0 which contains Gfortran, (which needs mpfr, which needs gmp) and is needed by Octave to compile good linear algebra libraries. Gcc must be version 4.1.0 because that is what Suse 10.1 has installed partly.
And then it turned out that Octave needed GNU Readline 4.2 or later, so I got that as well, and installed it.
tar xvzf gcc-4.1.0.tar.gz cd mkdir gcc cd gcc /home/YOU/gcc-4.1.0/configure make bootstrap su make install ldconfig exit /home/YOU/gcc-4.1.0/configure --enable-languages=fortran make su make install ldconfig exitThe other programs were installed like this:
tar THE_FILE cd ITS_DIRECTORY ./configure make su make install ldconfig exitEvery program here can be found at http://gnu.org
One way the machine can be unbootable after this is if you forget to do ldconfig after installing readline. What happens is that parts of the boot sequence uses bash which uses readline, which is not linked properly in, and thus stops the boot process. All previous Unix systems I have worked with have used sh as the shell for boot scripts, which is more standalone, with no readline, and therefore less susceptible to this type of circular dependencies.