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Currently, FreeOrion will compile in Windows XP (SP2), Windows Vista and Linux. Mac OS X versions have been produced, but are not actively supported. 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 The versions available on the project page are official releases or point releases, and may be somewhat or very out of date.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; at least 1 GB of RAM is recommended, and at least 512 MB is strongly recommended. If you have less than 256 MB of RAM plus at least the same amount of swap, you probably will run into trouble.

On Linux, 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, eventually.

You will also need a fast processor. Expect more than one hour for a first-time build on a 2 GHz processor (after building GG and any other necessary dependencies).

Software requirements

Note: On Windows, most dependencies are available pre-compiled in the FreeOrion SDK.

  • GiGi - Latest version from SourceForge SVN, will automatically be included in the FreeOrion/GG directory when checking out the FreeOrion Subversion archive
  • FreeType2 - a GiGi dependency
  • Boost - version 1.35 or later
  • log4cpp - version 0.3.4b
  • DevIL - a GiGi dependency (note: this has several sub-dependencies of its own)
  • SDL - a GiGi dependency
  • GraphViz - version 2.8
  • OpenAL and ALUT
  • libogg - version 1.1.3
  • libvorbis - version 1.1.2
  • Python - version 2.4 or later (version 2.5 if using the FreeOrion Windows SDK)
  • GLEW - (Windows only)
  • SCons - Optional on Windows, but required on Linux to build GiGi and FreeOrion

Getting the source


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-extension SVN client, such as TortoiseSVN is recommended, 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.


Compilation instructions and troubleshooting tips are available for the following operating systems: