Compile In Linux

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Each linux distribution will come with varying components already installed, although some libraries may be older than the version required by FreeOrion. Hopefully the notes below will help to identify what is required for your particular distribution.


GCC 4.x is required. See this forum thread.

Platform specifics


To build gigi or FreeOrion you first need to install the following packages using Synaptic (you will need to have the Universe repository included):

  • python (should already be installed)
  • scons
  • libfreetype6 and libfreetype6-dev
  • bcp
  • libdevil1c2 and libdevil-dev
  • libsdl1.2debian (should already be installed), libsdl1.2-dev
  • graphviz and graphviz-dev

You can install all of these (including dependencies) from the command line using this:

sudo apt-get install python scons libfreetype6-dev bcp libdevil-dev libsdl1.2-dev libsdl-mixer1.2-dev graphviz-dev libalut-dev liblog4cpp5-dev

Ubuntu (FeistyFawn and EdgyEft)

The log4cpp libs are still missing, so lets install them:

sudo apt-get install liblog4cpp4 liblog4cpp4-dev

Ubuntu (DapperDrake and before)

Your Ubuntu log4cpp package is too old so you will need to download the required version from the Debian archive (liblog4cpp4 and liblog4cpp4-dev) then install them:

sudo dpkg --install liblog4cpp4_0.3.5-rc3-1_i386.deb
sudo dpkg --install liblog4cpp4-dev_0.3.5-rc3-1_i386.deb


Before attempting to build FreeOrion you will first need to build and install the GiGi library.

The GiGi source should be automatically downloaded from SVN along with the FreeOrion source code. If not, it can be manually downloaded:

svn co gigi

Change into the GiGi directory and build the library:

cd freeorion/FreeOrion/GG
sudo scons install

Since improvements and changes will be made to GiGi periodically, you should keep it up to date with:

cd freeorion/FreeOrion/GG
svn update
sudo scons install


After GiGi is compiled and installed, compile FreeOrion:

cd freeorion/FreeOrion

When improvements have been made to FreeOrion, you should build the new version:

cd freeorion/FreeOrion
svn update

Clean After Dependency Changes

It has been reported that on Gentoo, it may be necessary to clean your old build before rebuilding GiGi or FreeOrion after updates that make changes to dependencies or versions of dependencies used, such as Boost. To do this:

scons --clean

User stories

Compilation Errors

Bogus build errors

You may see errors during the build process like this:

Checking for fmod >= 3.75... no
Checking fmod version >= 3.75... yes 
Checking for C header file fmod.h... yes
Checking for FSOUND_GetVersion() in C library fmod-3.75... yes
Checking for graphviz >= 0.15.0... no
Checking for libdotneato >= 0.15.0... no
Checking for C header file graphviz/render.h... yes
Checking for begin_component() in C library dotgen... yes

These failed messages refer to scons not finding an installed package for these components. The subsequent successful checks show that despite there being no pkg-config ".pc" file, the required header and library files were successfully located.

SCons Can't Find Libraries/Dependencies

If SCons is not able to find a library (e.g. Boost, GiGi, etc) that is installed, you need to be certain SCons is looking in the right directories. Your distribution may install the library in an unexpected location, or you may have manually installed the library in a non-standard directory (e.g. /home/user/freeorion/Boost). You will need to configure scons to look in these additional directories. The command:

scons -h

lists the command-line options for SCons, including how to configure dependency directories. The command (add or remove options to match your needs):

scons configure prefix=/usr/local/freeorion with_boost_include=/usr/local/include/boost with_ogre_include=/usr/include/OGRE

will store these options permanently in the file options.cache. Run configure again, or edit options.cache, to change the settings.

Runtime Errors

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.