From FreeOrionWiki
Revision as of 15:59, 1 March 2006 by Yoghurt (Talk | contribs) (SCons)

Jump to: navigation, search

Currently, FreeOrion will compile in Windows and Linux. Support for Mac OS X is underway, and the *BSD genus of operating systems might also work, follow the Linux instructions in this case. (And drop us a note telling us what you did if you manage to build it)


First of all, you will need to obtain the source. This can be grabbed from our project page or from Subversion (SVN). The versions available on the project page are official releases or point releases, and may be somewhat or very out of date. To help with programming FreeOrion, you will need to grab the SVN copy. Then you need to set up the required software, compile the game, download the missing artwork, and run it.

Hardware requirements

The FreeOrion code makes heavy use of templates, and requires much memory to compile. If you have less than 256 MB of RAM plus at least the same amount of swap, you probably will run into trouble. You will also need a fast processor, expect 20-40 minutes for a first-time build on a 1.3GHz processor. (Note: some work is done on reducing both compilation time and memory requirements) If you have only 256 MB of RAM and want to speed up compilation significantly, you could shut down your X server and compile from console. (If this doesn't mean anything to you, simply ignore this advice) Otherwise, your computer will spend 95% of the time swapping, but will finish, of course.

Software requirements

To compile the latest version of FreeOrion you will need GiGi. Here are the version numbers for software dependencies:

  • GiGi - Latest version from SourceForge SVN.
  • SCons - required to build GG and FreeOrion (Linux only; Windows can use MSVC 2003 solution file, or read Ted Bullock's Guide for MSVC 2005)
  • Python - required by SCons, soon needed by FreeOrion itself
  • FreeType2 - a GiGi dependency
  • Boost - version 1.33.1
  • log4cpp
  • DevIL - a GiGi dependency
  • SDL - a GiGi dependency
  • GraphViz - version 2.0 or 2.2(1.16 does not work. Neither does 2.4 or 2.6)

For sound support, you need

(work on providing OpenAL is underway)

Getting the source

As of version 0.3.1-RC2, the source code has been moved to Subversion (SVN) from CVS. CVS will not be updated in future.


The source code can be obtained from the sourceforge Subversion server, using this command from the Linux command prompt:

svn co freeorion

For Windows, a graphical shell-extention SVN client, such as TortoiseSVN is reccomended, with which the source can be obtained from


You can download an older version of the software in a package from the project page. Remember that if you want to help develop, you will need to obtain a copy from Subversion.

Compiling in Linux

Please note that much the information below is rather outdated. As of 20 February, 2006, the most up-to-date instructions are Harm's Debian instructions, which should be at least somewhat applicable to other Linux distributions.

Do not forget to download the graphics data file! (coralized link, might take some time to start, but should be (relatively) fast afterwards. You can also try the direct link, but download may be slow)


Basically, you only need to call "scons" instead of autogen/configure/make as discussed in the out of date instructions below.

If SCons can't find a dependency (eg. boost) and you do have it, then you may need to configure the dependency directories before actually compiling. The command:

scons -h

lists the command-line options for SCons, including how to configure each dependency directories.

Building without FMOD

For now, you will have to modify a few files for yourself:

  • In the"SConstruct" file, remove everything from "# FMOD" to "# Graphviz" (around line 310)
  • In the "SConscript" file, comment out HumanClientAppSoundFMOD (around line 74)
  • In the "client/human/chmain.cpp" file, replace HumanClientAppSoundFMOD with HumanClientApp (in the #include line and around line 67)

Common Problem: Segmentation Fault

If after compiling everything, you run freeorion and get a segmentation fault:

$ ./freeorion
Segmentation fault

You might be mixing dependencies compiled with different versions of GCC. See this forum post, this other forum post, this third post and this section of Harm's Debian User Story.

User stories

Out of Date

Notes on Some of the Required Libraries

  • log4cpp 0.2.7

When compiling log4cpp probably get some errors on "make". Change "long long" to "long" in first file you get an error and in the second file add a "using namespace std;" after the includes.

  • graphviz 2.0 or 2.2

Install it in /usr/local/ or fix the library include dirs in the Makefile as they are not checked by now (possibly somebody should fix this)

  • boost 1.33.1

You should set PYTHON_ROOT and PYTHON_VERSION before compiling

  • fmod

Copy the includes to a path where your compiler looks for them e.g. "/usr/include" or "/usr/local/include" Copy the lib to a path where your runtime linker will find it e.g. "/usr/lib" or "/usr/local/lib"


Once you have the required software, in particular GiGi, installed, you need to compile FreeOrion.

You now will have to [download] the artwork file and decompress it before running freeorion!

After these steps, the files freeorion, freeoriond and freeorionca should each be created in the root directory. Run ./freeorion to play the game.

Windows specific

Software requirements

To compile the latest version of FreeOrion you can use either the MSVC compiler (you can use the free one) or SCons.

Here are the version numbers for software dependencies:

Those can be found in precompiled format:

  • zlib - you can use zlib compiled DLL, version 1.2.3
  • DevIL - you can use DevIL 1.6.5 Windows SDK
  • SDL - there is a Development Library for Win32. I haven't tried them though
  • GraphViz - Zach has prebuilt this so you don't have to, and the original sources are included

Those must be compiled from the source:

Boost is built from the command line with a custom jam util you get from the sourceforge project page.

log4cpp, is built from the Visual C++ IDE. Don't mind the test projects.

GiGi has several dependencies (FreeType, SDL, boost, log4cpp and DevIL), so get these before attempting to compile GiGi. The debug targets are not completely configured, but you only need the release target for FreeOrion.

Compiling in Windows

Once you have the required software, in particular GiGi, installed, you need to compile FreeOrion.

Compiling with MSVC 2003 IDE

These instruction use the Visual C++ 2003 IDE.

  1. Open msvc\FreeOrion\FreeOrion.sln
  2. You need to configure the Additional Include Directories (in Project->Properties->C/C++->General) and Additional Library Directories (in Project->Properties->Linker->General) to point to where you installed the required software for all the targets you want to build.
  3. As the configuration assumes the GG's SVN root is in the SVN root of FreeOrion, it may be a good idea to put it there.
  4. As of 6 February, 2006, you may need to add or remove some source files from the projects. Any .cpp or .h files in the FreeOrion directory tree that are not included in the projects should be added to the projects' source folders corresponding to the directories in which files are located. Any files included in the projects which do not exist in the FreeOrion tree should be removed from the project.
  5. use Build->Batch build... to build the three projects' release targets. I didn't get the debug targets to compile.

If you didn't change the Output File (or the $(OutDir) variable), the files will be created in their default project and target directories (the executables will be in !bin/ ). Move them to the FreeOrion root directory and provide the required DLLs (copy them, move them or put them in your path environnement variable). Run freeorion.exe to play the game.

Additional Include Directories are now handled locally. That means, everyone who wants to compile FreeOrion has to define the directory lists at Tools->Options->Projects->VC++ Directories. The main advantage: Everyone can stick with his/her own directory tree without having to change the project's directory paths. The only exception is GG which is assumed to be found at the same level as FreeOrion (relative paths!).

Additional Include Directories: (by example)

  1. C:\Projects\GG\include
  2. C:\projects\log4cpp-0.3.4b\include
  3. C:\projects\freetype-2.1.7\include
  4. C:\projects\DevIL\include
  5. C:\Projects\boost-1_32
  6. C:\projects\SDL_mixer-1.2.5\include
  7. C:\projects\SDL-1.2.7\include
  8. C:\projects\zlib\include
  9. C:\projects\fmodapi374win\api\inc
  10. C:\projects\graphviz\include

Additional Library Directories: (by example)

  1. C:\Projects\boost-1_32\libs
  2. C:\projects\log4cpp-0.3.4b\msvc6\log4cppDLL\Release
  3. C:\projects\freetype-2.1.7\objs
  4. C:\projects\DevIL\lib
  5. C:\projects\zlib\lib
  6. C:\Projects\SDL-1.2.7\VisualC7\SDLmain\Release
  7. C:\projects\SDL_mixer-1.2.5\lib
  8. C:\projects\fmodapi374win\api\lib
  9. C:\projects\graphviz\lib

Note that Ted Bullock has been creating a graphical howto of sorts on how to configure the MSVC environment to compile the entire FreeOrion package and all dependancies from source code. Although this is incomplete at the moment it may be useful to some people who use the Microsoft IDE. For now this can be accessed off his home webserver. FreeOrion Visual Studio Instructions

Compiling with SCons

There is now an alternative build system for windows, based on SCons. Using SCons means that you only build the objects files once (with a couple of exceptions), instead of once for each executable (like it is done on Linux). This reduces complete rebuild times to a third of what they are using the Visual C++ IDE. It also works completely from the command line, which should make it easier to use with the free MS C++ compiler.

To use SCons, you need to download and install SCons, which in turn requires Python. Go to the SCons website for details ( ). Make sure that SCons is in your path, and from a command-line prompt in the root of your FreeOrion source tree, run "scons".

SCons may complain that it can't find some dependencies; you may need to set up dependency directories. Run "scons -h" for a list of settable flags, then run scons to add each directory, in a manner similar to "scons with_boost_include=C:\Boost\include\boost-1_32\" (modified for your missing dependency and its location). After setting all the flags necessary, run "scons configure", then "scons" to actually compile.

You won't have to move the executables as you would using the IDE-build.

Obtaining Artwork

Some artwork may be missing from the game when you download it. You can obtain these images from here (coralized link, you can also use the direct link, though your bandwidth may suffer) You can also obtain an MD5 sum by doing this with the appropriate file extension:, etc. Note that this MD5 sum is not for security; it is supposed to let you know when the data in the zip file has changed.

If you have an existing default/config.xml file, you may need to remove the data-dir entry. Place the data folder from the file above into default/

Troubles and Questions

Q. I get a segmentation fault as soon as I run freeorion

$ ./freeorion
Segmentation fault

A. See above.

Q. I get an undefined reference to `_vsnprintf'

A. This is a bug in the latest version of Devil. GiGi's configure script should've taken care of it. If it didn't, contact Yoghurt. In the meantime, you can fix the error yourself: Check the il_tiff.c file and add this line at the top:

#define _vsnprintf vsnprintf 

and then recompile [1]

Q. The game crashes when I click on a star

A. The reason is missing artwork, see above. You can tell FreeOrion to not use animated Planets, just delete the file <FreeOrion Home Directory>/default/art/small/planets/planets.xml

Q. I get an error saying: "Video mode set failed: Couldn't find matching GLX visual"

A. Your video mode is probably set to 16 bit instead of 32, which is what FreeOrion defaults to. You need to either change your X color depth, or edit the FreeOrion config file in default/config.xml. Change color-depth from 32 to 16. Since this file isn't included in a fresh download anymore, rather start with a --color-depth 16 command line argument.