Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to compiling nsxml on debian.
I'm currently using the aolserver and postgresql debian packages with OpenACS4. I didn't have to compile these two packages from sources. I did replace the nsd.tcl file, and added postgres memory tweaks, though. The only real difficulty (as you are experiencing, and I did, too) is compiling the modules.
To compile the modules (esp. ns_xml), I had to download
- libxml2-dev (this will put the necessary header files in /usr/include/libxml2)
- postgresql-dev (for the postgres driver)
If the above still don't help, I may have to rewrite my guide document and fire up a fresh debian installation (thank you vmware) to retrace exactly what I did. In the perfect world, somebody will debianize openacs4 (plus modules), just like openacs3.