Difference between revisions of "CompilingWesnoth"

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'''scons --config=force'''
'''scons --config=force'''
Without --config=forse the build sysyewm will not notice that you have installed additional libraries.
Without --config=force the build system will not notice that you have installed additional libraries.
For '''Wesnoth 1.13''', the following are additionally optional:
For '''Wesnoth 1.13''', the following are additionally optional:

Revision as of 16:22, 17 December 2017

[edit]Compiling Wesnoth


Compiling Wesnoth

This page covers compilation on a Unix-like system, using the scons and cmake build systems.

See also:

Forcemstr has cross compiled for Windows using the free mingw32 tools, running under Linux.

Here's documentation of another cross compilation attempt: CompilingWesnoth/CrossCompiling

For detailed instructions and full prerequisites, please consult the current INSTALL file in the source code.


You need a C++ compiler (such as gcc).

You must have the following libraries installed on your system to build Wesnoth 1.12. Many Linux distributions split development packages from libraries. If so, you need to have the development packages to build Wesnoth (the -dev packages include the header files which are required to build packages from source). You will also need the runtime packages to actually run Wesnoth.

The following libraries are optional.

Dev Version Additional Requirements

For Wesnoth 1.13, the following are additionally required:

  • boost_random (libboost-random-dev)
  • libcrypto (libssl-dev), since 1.13.9
  • libsdl2-dev, libsdl2-image-dev, libsdl2-mixer-dev, libsdl2-ttf-dev
  • As of Wesnoth 1.13.6, at least patchlevel 2.0.4 of SDL2 is required.

Under Debian-family Unxes, the following will probably do what you need:

sudo apt-get install libsdl2-dev libsdl2-image-dev libsdl2-mixer-dev libsdl2-ttf-dev libboost-random-dev

scons --config=force

Without --config=force the build system will not notice that you have installed additional libraries.

For Wesnoth 1.13, the following are additionally optional:

  • libpng (support compiled in SDL_image is mandatory -- if you also provide libpng at runtime to the wesnoth executable, then you may save screenshots and images as png's)
  • history (GNU history, a small piece of GNU readline, is used to backup the lua interpreter console command history feature. If you are on linux or OS X you probably already have this, as readline is a dependency of the bash shell -- however you will need to install "readline-dev" or equivalent to get the matching header. This optional lib is not included in the wesnoth windows SDK, however a mingw32 cross-compiled version which was tested to work may be obtained here: http://goo.gl/lFz44P?gdriveurl -- note that this won't be compatible with MSVC)

Build Tool

To be able to build things, you will need a build tool, either


Linux Tips to Easily Gather Dependencies

On all linux distributions that are based on Debian (like eg Ubuntu) it may be enough to use this command if your distribution ships a recent version of Wesnoth. (However dependencies might be outdated for building the Development version or building Stable versions newer than are shipped with your distribution. In those case you will need to install the additional dependencies by hand after running the following command):

sudo apt-get build-dep wesnoth-1.12


sudo apt-get build-dep wesnoth-1.10
sudo apt-get install libboost-all-dev

On Debian 8 (Jessie), wesnoth-1.12 is available in the backports.

The following command will install most prerequisites for openSuSE 12.1, wesnoth 1.10.1. All dependencies are in the standard OSS repository.

zypper install libSDL-devel gettext-runtime zlib-devel cairo-devel fontconfig-devel cmake make libSDL_mixer-devel libSDL_image-devel libSDL_net-devel libSDL_ttf-devel gettext-tools boost-devel libSDL_Pango-devel lua-devel dbus-1-devel libvorbis-devel

The following command will install most prerequisites for CentOS 6.4, RedHat 6, or Fedora 21-22, wesnoth 1.10.1. All dependencies are in the standard OSS repository. You may need to use yum instead of dnf

sudo dnf install boost-devel SDL-devel SDL_image-devel SDL_ttf-devel SDL_mixer-devel SDL_net-devel pango-devel cmake scons

This command installs the prerequisites for Wesnoth 1.12 in Arch Linux.

 pacman -S sdl_ttf sdl_net sdl_mixer sdl_image fribidi boost-libs pango lua52 dbus python2 boost cmake scons

For Wesnoth 1.13 Arch Linux also needs the sdl2 packages.

 pacman -S sdl2_ttf sdl2_mixer sdl2_image

Source Code

You can get it here:


Our future choice of build system is not yet final -- SCons and CMake are both in contention -- but for the moment both build systems (SCons and CMake) should in general work.

scons is a better choice for beginners, because it requires less configuration and it is more widely used and tested. cmake is used primarily for making certain releases, and is not as well tested.

If any config checks fail, look in the respective log files (eg in build/config.log when using scons) for details. When using scons, a check can spuriously fail due to caching. If this happens, please use --config=force to force its rerun.

Building with SCons

To build using SCons, simply type

$ scons 

in the Wesnoth top-level directory. This will perform the equivalent of "configure --enable-editor --enable-tools; make" under autotools, buiding all client-side tools. To find out more about build options, type

$ scons --help

Equivalents of many configure options will be available, and you can easily build individual targets such as wesnothd.

Because scons checks for out-of-dateness with MD5 checksums of a target's ancestors and its build environment (including compiler and linker flags), the "make clean" and "make uninstall" preliminaries that you need for safety under autotools won't be necessary.


Good options to use with scons are

  • ctool=clang
This uses clang instead of gcc, which is empirically significantly faster (about 2x)
  • ccache=true
Enables ccache.
If you have ccache available on your system, and you are using git, then this is highly recommended, it can enable you to switch branches and rebuild in minutes.
  • build=release vs. build=debug
Determines whether you build with -O2 optimizations, or -O0 with debugging symbols.
Keep in mind this preference, like the others mentioned, are "sticky" and will be remembered in the future.
  • -j 2, or --jobs 4, etc.
Build parallelism: This tells scons to run multiple compilation steps in parallel. The number of jobs you tell it to run at once should not be larger than the number of cores that you have.

Building with CMake

CMake supports so called "out of tree" builds. That is you compile in a place completely different from the folder where your checkout is in. To do so, simply create a folder to compile in and call cmake with the path to your checkout. Of course you can also just call cmake from the checkout folder with a plain cmake ., but this is boring, isn't it?

To have cmake build wesnoth in a new dir called cmake_build_dir, just use these commands (PATH/TO/WESNOTH/TOPLEVEL-DIR means the base of your repository checkout or the folder where you extracted the tarball to, not src/ in there!):

$ mkdir cmake_build_dir
$ cd cmake_build_dir

This will perform the equivalent of "configure --enable-editor --enable-server" under autotools. To get an interface for editing settings, just type

$ ccmake .

in the cmake_build_dir. When done with your changes hit 'c' to configure and 'g' to generate the files and exit. In general you can either add commands to your cmake PATH/TO/WESNOTH/TOPLEVEL-DIR call, or change the parameters later on via ccmake or a cmake gui. Equivalents of many configure options are be available.

In the 2nd step you just have to build the game. This is done as with autotools using

$ make

This by default builds all the targets you activated. If you want to you can also just build specific targets like wesnothd.

Because CMake checks for out-of-dateness, the "make clean" and "make uninstall" preliminaries that you need for safety under autotools won't be necessary.


Become superuser, so that you have permission to install.

$ su
  Password: /*doesn't show*/

Now that you have permission, install it.

Installing using SCons

If you are using SCons:

# scons install

Installing using CMake

If you are using CMake, installing basically happens the same way as when using autotools. When authorized as admin (see above), just type this:

# make install

Running the game without installing

After compiling it is also possible to just run the game without installing it. All you have to do is execute the compiled binary and provide the path to the data location as argument. This looks eg like this:

$ ./wesnoth .

or, if you compiled outside the place where you have your repository checkout or the extracted tarball (lets assume this content lies in ../wesnoth-1.8):

$ ./wesnoth ../wesnoth-1.8/

See also