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FreeOrion can currently be compiled under Windows and Linux.


First of all, you will need to obtain the source. This can be grabbed from our project page or from CVS. The version available on the project page usually corresponds to an official release, and so may be very out of date. If you are interested in helping program FreeOrion then you will need to grab the CVS copy. Then you need to set up the required software, compile the game, download the missing artwork, and run it.

Software requirements

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

Getting the source


CVS can be obtained in Linux using these commands:

cvs -d:pserver:[email protected]:/cvsroot/freeorion login (if it asks for password, just hit enter)

cvs -z3 -d:pserver:[email protected]:/cvsroot/freeorion co FreeOrion


You can also 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 CVS.

Once you have the required software, in particular GiGi, installed, you need to compile FreeOrion. You have two options. The first is to run these commands:

  1. ./
  2. ./configure
  3. make

Many people have trouble getting these to work, so custom makefiles can be downloaded here. To get these working follow these steps:

  1. Extract the three Makefile's into their appropriate directories
  2. Edit each Makefile, changing any folder references to point to your directory structure
  3. Remove references to 'ccache' if you are not using it
  4. Go into server/ client/human/ and client/AI/ and run 'make' in each

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

Obtaining Artwork

Some artwork may be missing from the game when you download it. You will probably need to obtain these images.