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.


Required compiler is gcc and g++ in version 4.3.3 or above.


If you compile using kernel 2.6.22 or above, your binary will likely not run on any other system having a lower numbered kernel version. This is due to a feature called "eventfd" which boost uses if a kernel 2.6.22 or above is found.

To avoid this incompatibility, you can specify CPPDEFINES="BOOST_ASIO_DISABLE_EVENTFD" as a parameter to scons to disable usage of eventfd.

This issue should not be a problem at all if you don't share your binaries.

Platform specifics

OpenSuSE 12.2

See this forum post.


This is a revision pass as of April 2014; hopefully it brings things current but may need some further revision. These revised instructions are hopefully generic to most Ubuntu releases as of April 2014, and should work for Lucid through Trusty subject to the extra notes below. You can check which version of a given package is provided by your Ubuntu release at this page To build gigi or FreeOrion you first need to install the following packages (using Synaptic or muon or apt-get) (you will need to have the Universe repository included):

  • build-essential
  • pkg-config
  • python-dev (python 2.5+, preferably 2.7, but not python3)
  • cmake
  • libltdl-dev
  • subversion
  • libfreetype6-dev
  • libsdl1.2-dev
  • libalut-dev
  • libvorbis-dev
  • libois-dev
  • libopenal-dev
  • libtiff4-dev

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

sudo apt-get install build-essential subversion pkg-config libltdl-dev cmake
sudo apt-get install python-dev libfreetype6-dev libsdl1.2-dev libalut-dev libvorbis-dev libois-dev libtiff4-dev libopenal-dev

Also required are Boost, Ogre3D and Bullet. Boost (libboost-dev) will need to be at least 1.47+, and will preferably be 1.51+ (check here). If your Ubuntu release provides a sufficient boost release then you can install it via

sudo apt-get install libboost-all-dev

Ogre3D (libogre-dev) needs to have been compiled with the same version of boost as you will be using to compile FreeOrion (can be checked via muon or synaptic), so if you have any uncertainty it may be best to compile Ogre3D yourself per instructions below. To install your releases standard Ogre version you can use the following on the command line:

sudo apt-get install libogre-dev

Bullet 2.73(or later), which is required to compile, is not in the official Ubuntu repository; see below for instructions.

Ubuntu Lucid

See Compile In Ubuntu Lucid Lynx. You have to compile required version of Boost(in Lucid there is no version 1.47 or later) or get it from some repository.


Same as Ubuntu, but Bullet 2.73(or later), which is required to compile, is not in Debian repository. Also remove sudo from all commands and run these commands under root(to login type su). Ogre3D in required version is available only from Squeeze up.


Lenny provides version 1.35 of boost. You have to compile version 1.47 (or later) yourself.

Squeeze (testing) & Sid (unstable)

You can install Boost and Ogre3D with command(under user root):

apt-get install libboost-dev libboost1.42-all-dev --install-recommends



From Debian Squeeze and Ubuntu Lucid up there is no need to do next Ogre3D steps. However Debian Lenny does not provide ogre-dev binary package in required version. One can be found from or in Andrew Fenn's repository.

(sudo) add-apt-repository ppa:andrewfenn
(sudo) apt-get install libogre-dev

and install new Ogre3D. If you prefer to compile Ogre3D yourself, read on.

Ogre3D requirements

With current versions of Ogre it is probably best to follow the instructions here

Ubuntu and Debian

Install Ogre3D requirements

(sudo) apt-get install automake
(sudo) apt-get install libzzip-dev libfreeimage-dev x11proto-xf86vidmode-dev libxxf86vm-dev
(sudo) apt-get install libpcre3-dev libfreetype6-dev libxrandr-dev libxaw7-dev libmng-dev libglew1.5-dev libxt-dev


With current versions of Ogre it is probably best to follow the instructions here Previous Instructions Download Ogre3D sources and unpack them. Supported compiler g++ and gcc versions is only version 4.3 or 4.4.

g++ --version


gcc --version

should return version 4.3 or 4.4

Compile Ogre3D with


and install with:

(sudo) make install
(sudo) ldconfig


NOTE: As of r6016, this is no longer necessary. The Makefile generated by a simple cmake . will also build GiGi.

Before attempting to build FreeOrion you will first need to build and install the GiGi library, including GiGiOgre and the GiGiOgre OIS plugin. Before building GiGi you also need Ogre installed.

The GiGi source should be automatically downloaded from SVN along with the FreeOrion source code.

Change into the GiGi directory and build the library:

cd freeorion/FreeOrion/GG
(sudo) make install
(sudo) ldconfig

Add line as root


to file /etc/


Bullet debian packets for some Debian/Ubuntu releases and architectures can be found from

Bullet sourcecode downloads are also available at

Building Bullet

Install Bullet compilation requirements

(sudo) apt-get install freeglut3-dev

After downloading and unpacking downloaded bullet archive, compile it with:

cmake -D BUILD_SHARED_LIBS=true .

and install with:

(sudo) make install
cd /usr/local/lib
(sudo) ln -s
(sudo) ln -s
(sudo) ln -s
(sudo) ldconfig

Symlinks, and are required to create because bullet build system is inconsistent on different platforms.


Compiling FreeOrion

Compile FreeOrion:

cd freeorion/FreeOrion
cmake .

The flag


might also help.

Updating FreeOrion

When improvements have been made to FreeOrion, you should keep it up to date with:

cd freeorion/FreeOrion
svn update

This should update GG and FreeOrion from subversion. After compiling and installing GG compile FreeOrion.

Clean After Dependency Changes

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. Do this in FreeOrion and GG directory:

rm CMakeCache.txt
make clean

User stories

Compilation Errors

Cmake can't find libraries/dependencies

If cmake is not able to find a library (e.g. Ogre, OIS, etc) that is installed, please see this thread

Runtime Errors

Segmentation Fault

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

$ ./freeorion
Segmentation fault
  • Be certain that currently installed driver for your graphic card supports OpenGL 2.0 or later
  • You might be mixing dependencies compiled with different versions of GCC or different optimization level for Ogre, GiGi and FreeOrion. See this post
  • You have graphic card which doesn't support shader model 3 or above(Nvidia 6600 and above have, some AMD HD series also). There are known problems with AMD drivers on Linux. In future there will be functional Gallium driver(r300g or r600g) in Mesa. These new drivers will be available probably in Ubuntu 11.04.

Video mode set failed: Couldn't find matching GLX visual

Your video mode is probably set to 16-bit instead of 32-bit, which is what FreeOrion defaults to. You need to either change your X server color depth to 32-bit, or edit the FreeOrion config file in ~/freeorion/config.xml and change color-depth from 32 to 16. You can also try the command line argement:

./freeorion --color-depth 16

IDE for development

  • Text editor and cmake with make to compile.
  • Eclipse is open source multiplatform IDE and can be used to compile FreeOrion, but plugins to support subversion and python have to be installed. See howto Compile With Eclipse.


Adding debug symbols to binary

Turn on debugging symbols on GG and FreeOrion with:

cmake -DBUILD_DEBUG=1 .

and then rebuild GG and FreeOrion.


Install debugger gdb and run freeorion in window mode(not in fullscreen) with:

gdb ./freeorion

and after it starts gdb type


and wait until segfault occurs. Then to print backtrace type

bt full