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Building FlightGear - Debian

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Revision as of 07:16, 18 February 2010 by Flughund (Talk | contribs) (prepared for 2.0.0 - not finished because of missing data)

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HowTo build on Debian

HowTo build FlightGear 2.0.0 or CVS on GNU/Linux Debian Stable 5.x (Lenny).

This HowTo may also work with Testing/Unstable except that some things are easier because of more up to date packages. So, before fetching something check the version of the available -dev package for it.

It even *should* work with Etch, but I am not certain about some dependencies. Reports are welcome.

If you don't want to make your hands dirty, have a look at Scripted_Compilation_on_Linux_Debian/Ubuntu.

Requirements and Preparations

You need an OpenGL capable graphics including a proper installed driver.

Also a bunch of packages (and some of their dependencies) are required:

  • gcc, g++, make, automake1.9
  • mawk (or gawk)
  • cmake (min. version 2.6.0-5, for Etch available on backports.org!)
  • cvs, subversion
  • freeglut3-dev, libgl1-mesa-dev, libxrandr-dev
  • libxi-dev, libxmu-dev, libxext-dev
  • libopenal-dev (see libopenal), libalut-dev
  • libjpeg62-dev, libtiff4-dev, libpng12-dev
  • libboost1.37-dev (Not available for Lenny atm, see Boost Library below.)

During installation packages simgear-dev and openscenegraph-dev *must not* be installed. They can safely be re-installed after compilation.

Build and install

Because we are going to install versions different to the ones in the repositries it is recommended to install FG-2.0.0 and/or CVS in a place independet to the base system such as /usr/local/FG-2.0.0, /opt/FG-2.0.0 or in a subdirectory of your $HOME. I suggest to make it writeable by the user that there is no need to become root for the 'make install' commands. I'll use $prefix as a placeholder for this directory.

Another one will be $srcdir, it stands for the absolute path to the directory which contains the folders of the various source codes. So in the following instructions one have to replace it by the local path.

Subsequent the instructions to fetch the sources and the data needed by FG and the commands to build/install each source.

Have in mind that the data is relatively huge (CVS about 2 GB and 2.0.0 xxx MB) so, to save some time, it is a good idea to fetch it while building the sources.


The libopenal-dev package in Lenny/Etch is too old for fgcom. For FG it does work but not all features (like Doppler) are avaiable, so installing an up to date version is recommended anyway. Get the latest source from http://connect.creativelabs.com/openal/Downloads/Forms/AllItems.aspx (file openal-soft-[version]) and extract it into $srcdir.

cd $srcdir/openal-soft-[version]/build
cmake  -D CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX:PATH="$prefix" ..
make install


Version 1.8.5 is needed, packages are available for Testing/Unstable, plib1.8.5-dev. Lenny/Etch users have to compile and install it:

cd $srcdir
wget http://plib.sourceforge.net/dist/plib-1.8.5.tar.gz
tar xzf plib-1.8.5.tar.gz
cd plib-1.8.5
./configure --prefix=$prefix
make install

Boost Library

Version 1.37 is needed. At least for Lenny/Etch this means getting the sources because this is not available atm on backports.org. Testing/Unstable users may have more luck and a package is available, libboost-1.37-dev or newer.

To build SimGear, FlightGear, fgrun and fgcom some boostlib header files are required, no need to compile and install it. If you have installed a libboost1.37-dev (or highter) package on your system you don't have to bother at all with it. If not, you have to tell each ./configure where the header files are. To do so, add the option CPPFLAGS=-I$prefix/include to the SimGear, FlightGear and fgrun ./configure commands. We copy the header files to $prefix/include because fgcom will need them there.

Get a tar ball from http://sourceforge.net/projects/boost/files/boost/, extract it into $srcdir then:

cp -R $srcdir/boost-[version]/boost $prefix/include


For FlightGear 2.0.0 one may use the latest developer release from http://www.openscenegraph.org/projects/osg/wiki/Downloads/DeveloperReleases (extract into $srcdir).
Mostly this is ok for FlightGear CVS as well as it is stable. However, sometimes the release is not fresh enough and one have to get the latest developments via SVN:

cd $srcdir
svn co http://www.openscenegraph.org/svn/osg/OpenSceneGraph/trunk OpenSceneGraph

cmake demands a build directory separate to its source directory. So mkdir one and cd into it.

   -D CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX:PATH="$prefix" $srcdir/OpenSceneGraph[-version]
make install



cd $srcdir
wget ftp://ftp.simgear.org/pub/simgear/Source/SimGear-....tar.gz
tar ...
cd ...


cd $srcdir
mkdir simgear
cd simgear
cvs -d :pserver:cvsguest@cvs.simgear.org:/var/cvs/SimGear-0.3 login
#CVS passwd: guest
cvs -d :pserver:cvsguest@cvs.simgear.org:/var/cvs/SimGear-0.3 co source
cd source

2.0.0 and CVS:

./configure --prefix=$prefix [CPPFLAGS=-I$prefix/include]
make install

FlightGear source


cd $srcdir
wget http://www.very-clever.com/download/flightgear/Source/
tar xjf ...
cd ...


cd $srcdir
mkdir flightgear
cd flightgear
cvs -d :pserver:cvsguest@cvs.flightgear.org:/var/cvs/FlightGear-0.9 login
#CVS passwd: guest
cvs -d :pserver:cvsguest@cvs.flightgear.org:/var/cvs/FlightGear-0.9 co source
cd source

2.0.0 and CVS:

./configure --prefix=$prefix [--with-openal=$prefix] [CPPFLAGS=-I$prefix/include/]
make install

FlightGear data


cd $prefix/share
wget http://www.very-clever.com/download/flightgear/Shared/FlightGear-data-...
tar xjf ...


cd $prefix/share
cvs -d :pserver:cvsguest@cvs.flightgear.org:/var/cvs/FlightGear-0.9 co data

Trial run

When all the builds are done and the data download has finished it is time for a test run:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$prefix/lib/:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH
$prefix/bin/fgfs --fg-root=$prefix/share/data

For the furure, if you want to start FlightGear from command line have a look at [fgfsrc], if you prefer a graphical user interface continue with compiling fgrun.

Optional Software


To build fgrun one more package is required:

  • libfltk1.1-dev
cd $srcdir
svn co http://fgrun.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/fgrun/trunk fgrun
cd fgrun
./configure --prefix=$prefix  [CPPFLAGS=-I$prefix/include/]
make install


For fgcom unfortunately there is one more dependency which cannot be solved with packages on Lenny/Etch, see libopenal.

cd $srcdir
svn co https://appfgcom.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/fgcom/trunk fgcom
cd fgcom/src

make INSTALL_BIN=$prefix/bin INSTALL_DIR=$prefix/fgcom \
   PLIB_PREFIX=$prefix OPENAL_PREFIX=$prefix install

Keeping the CVS version up to date

...to be continued. ;-)