Exuberant Ctags on OS X 10.5

Note: It's very easy to install ctags, I wrote this mostly because when I install things to OS X I like to check google on how other people did it to make sure I'm not missing something OS X specific. I couldn't find anyone else that had commented on this so I did.

The version of ctags that comes with OS X 10.5 (and probably earlier versions) isn't too great. I don't know what the default version is or anything because it doesn't accept the --version switch. Here's how to get a real ctags installed on your mac:

curl -O http://superb-west.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/ctags/ctags-5.7.tar.gz
tar xzvf ctags-5.7.tar.gz
cd ctags-5.7
./configure
make
make install

This puts it in /usr/local/bin which means it avoids the ctags that comes with OS X. This is good in case Apple releases an update for it and squashes your real ctags. To make the good ctags show up first, you need it to be first in your path. If you're using .bash_login add a line like this:
export PATH="/usr/local/bin:$PATH"

Then you can make sure by opening a NEW terminal window and doing: which tags
It should show /usr/local/bin/ctags

Why I use Exuberant Ctags
Although I've bought many text editors (in order: BBEdit, TextMate, Coda), I find Vi(m) is far more useful for most things. It's worth it to learn this powerhouse editor. Specifically, the Tag List vim plugin is why I needed to install ctags.

Comments

Thank you for this. I don't happen to a ~/.bash_login or ~/.profile file (would that mean I need to create them?), but as I was doing this for jEdit, it lets me set the path explicitly.

Another way to solve this is using a .bashrc in your ~(home directory).

;)

If you only really need ctags for TagList, you can go into taglist.vim and add something along the lines of:
<code>let Tlist_Ctags_Cmd = '/usr/local/bin/ctags'</code>
at the top which should teach TagList to use that particular binary for all its black magic.

Exuberant ctags + Vim is a killer combo (and the new MacVim is great). I believe the ctags that comes with OS X is the GNU ctags, while the newer one is known as exuberant ctags. If I recall correctly, exuberant ctags was originally developed for use with Vim. Another way to install exuberant ctags is with MacPorts.

Thanks

I HATE the ctags that comes with Mac OS. It looks like it is a wrapper around etags or something.

But yeah, I was thinking about doing the same thing but didn't want to trounce over the built in ctags for the same reason as you. Thanks for the post!

MacVim + ctags is an excellent combination.

-Atif

The link given seems to be broken. I found following link working http://surfnet.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/ctags/ctags-5.7.tar.gz working.
Thnks Adam

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