To start, download the current aterm source tarball from http://aterm.sourceforge.net
In addition to the aterm source, you'll need to download and install a few things from http://freeware.sgi.com:
After installing the above, ensure /usr/freeware/bin is in your search path. The easiest way to accomplish this is to use SGI's fixpath tool. From a terminal, enter the following command:
I find it much easier to use SGI's precompiled binaries whenever possible; it's a simple matter to use them as building blocks for software not available direct from SGI.
Extract the aterm tarball, enter the build directory and start the configure script (set to build against the freeware libraries):
./configure --enable-utmp --enable-wtmp --enable-fading --disable-delete-key --disable-backspace-key --with-xpm-library=/usr/freeware/lib32 --enable-background-image --with-jpeg-library=/usr/freeware/lib32 --with-png-library=/usr/freeware/lib32 --with-term=xterm --with-terminfo=/usr/share/lib/terminfo --enable-xgetdefault --enable-graphics --enable-menubar
Then a typical (as root if /usr/local is not user writable):
gmake gmake install
It's best to add /usr/local/bin to your search path as well if you haven't done so already. Finally an example of a typical command line I use to start aterm:
/usr/local/bin/aterm -tr -sh 50 -bg black -fg cyan -sl 1500
I've built aterm 0.4.2 under IRIX 6.5 with the above settings using both gcc3 and MipsPRO 7.x with no issues.