Scripted Compilation on Linux Debian/Ubuntu

Revision as of 07:13, 31 March 2009 by RatOmeter (Talk | contribs) (Obtaining the script)

Revision as of 07:13, 31 March 2009 by RatOmeter (Talk | contribs) (Obtaining the script)


The following script takes care of downloading and compiling Flightgear from the cvs repositories with just one command execution for both 32-bit and 64-bit Debian based systems (Debian, Ubuntu). Pre-existing installed version (if any) of Flightgear are not touched at all since the script builds and installs everything under the directory within it is launched.

Necessary packages are installed via the apt-get system while libraries not included in the repositories are downloaded and compiled on the fly (i.e. Plib, Simgear and OSG).

List of compiled programs

The script is able to download and compile:


You can download the script here: []


To run it, just save it in a directory called for example: ~/fg_tools then execute it (no need to execute it as root).

Here is for example a sequence of commands to get the script and launch it in a new folder.

mkdir ~/fgfs
cd ~/fgfs
chmod 755

Once all will be finished, you will sucessfully get all the programs installed in the ~/fgfs directory.

Launching Flightgear

To run your new cvs installation of Flightgear you have to launch the command under the same folder, for example:

cd ~/fgfs

Launching Fgrun

For many users it's more comfortable having Flighgear launched by the graphical utiliy Fgrun wich is installed as well in the same folder. You have to launch the command, for example:

cd ~/fgfs

Launching FGCOM

FGCOM is the system used by flightgear to simulate radio communications between users. Launch it using the command:

cd ~/fgfs
sh -cs

Launching Atlas

Atlas provides a map for Flightgear, use it launching:

cd ~/fgfs

Launching Terrasync

Your Flightgear compilation comes with the Terrasync program too, so if you want to use it:

cd ~/fgfs
sh -p 5500 -d /folder/with/sceneries

Where: /folder/with/sceneries is the folder containing the sceneries data.


Obtaining the script

The script is hosted on my home server, if electricity goes down or internet connection fails, you will be not able to download it directly.

Solution: Ask on the FlightGear IRC channel for the script, the community will provide it for you.

Compilation errors

Here we are, no fear, if you wish to use programs from the cvs/svn repositories, you might face compilation errors that will prevent you to have a working copy of one or more of the programs provided by this script. What can be the causes that prevent us from a successful compiling? As far as I know those:

  1. Software developers introduce a new functionality with a new piece of code that prevents the compilation under your architecture, this can happen working with cvs/svn sources.
  2. The program refuses to compile because of a divergence in the libraries it depends. For example Flightgear might not compile because OSG has been modified, while OSG itself compiles fine, FG won't.
  3. One or more repositories are down and you can't get the library you need. (Both from cvs/svn or apt-get)

There is a simple solution to the above errors: wait and relaunch the script after some time (hours or days), if (end generally happens) software developers repair or synchronize their code with the newly updated libraries, your Flightgear will compile fine as if the previous error never took place.

Sometimes it happens that the script fails to compile only fgrun,fgcom or atlas, if you then see the file it means that Flightgear installation was successful and you can safely run it.


The script by default (without any option) will only compile Flightgear and Fgrun. To make it compile all, you need to launch the script with the ALL parameter. i.e.:

sh ALL

Compiling only one program

If you wish to recompile only one of the programs you can launch the script with one of the following parameters:

  • PLIB (to compile and install only plib)
  • OSG (to compile and install only OpenSceneGraph)
  • SIMGEAR (to compile and install only Simgear)
  • FGFS (to compile and install only FlightGear)
  • DATA (to download / update only data files for FlightGear)
  • FGRUN (to compile and install only Fgrun)
  • FGCOM (to compile and install only Fgcom)
  • ATLAS (to compile and install only Atlas)

Fast updating

There is a second parameter UPDATE that allows you to just update your installation. i.e.: This will only update FGFS


Disk usage

Having both compiled program, source codes and data from cvs requires some hard disk space: It will take you something like 3GB of space. If you don't have a fast machine, it will require you also some hours of compilation time.