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Building using CMake - Windows

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1rightarrow.png See Building Flightgear for the main article about this subject.

Required software

Directory tree

On Windows, assumptions on the directory structure are made to automate the discovery of dependencies.

This recommended directory structure is described below. Clicking the links allows you to download pre-built parts (for 3rdParty, make sure to download the right bits version. You need only one of the zips.).

3rdParty / ( includes boost, plib, fltk, zlib, libpng, libjpeg, libtiff, freetype, libsvn, gdal, ... )
bin /
include /
lib /
boost_1_44_0 / (included in the 3rdParty package linked above)
boost /
install /
msvc100 / ( for VS2010 32 bits, or msvc90, msvc90-64 or msvc100-64 for VS2008 32, VS2008 64 and VS2010 64 )
OpenSceneGraph / ( OSG CMake install )
bin /
include /
lib /
SimGear / (create this empty for now, subfolders will be created by build process)
include /
lib /
FlightGear / (create this empty for now)
include /
lib /

When building a 64 bits version, use the following structure for the 3dparty tools:

3rdParty.x64 / ( 64 bit version )
bin /
include /
lib /

If you do not use the recommended structure you will need to enter paths by hand. Source and build directories can be located anywhere.


  1. Set up a work directory as described above.
  2. Building SimGear
    1. Open the CMake gui.
    2. Set "Where is the source code" to wherever you put the SimGear sources (from the released tarball or the git repository).
    3. Set "Where to build the binaries" to a new empty directory (could be anywhere and any name, for example naming it simgear-build, at the same folder location as your unzipped SimGear source folder was put).
    4. Press CMake GUI Configure.png. The first time that the project is configured, CMake will bring up a window asking you to "Specify the generator for this project" i.e. which compiler you wish to use. Select Visual Studio 10, (or Visual Studio 10 Win64 for 64 bit), and press Finish. CMake will now do a check on your system and will produce a preliminary build configuration.
    5. CMake adds new configuration variables in red. Some have a value ending with -NOTFOUND. These variables should receive your attention. Some errors will prevent SimGear from building and others will simply invalidate some options without causing build errors.
      1. First check the MSVC_3RDPARTY_ROOT variable. If it is not set, chances are that there will be a lot of -NOTFOUND errors. Instead of trying to fix every error individually, set that variable to the location of the directory structure that is presented above. Then press CMake GUI Configure.png again.
      2. Also check the lines with a checkbox. These are build options and may impact the feature set of the built program.
      3. Click CMake GUI Add entry.png to create a new entry with:
        • Type: PATH
        • Value: ${MSVC_3RDPARTY_ROOT}/install/msvc100/SimGear
    6. Repeat the process from step 5, until CMake GUI Generate.png is enabled.
    7. Press CMake GUI Generate.png.
    8. Start Visual Studio 2010 and load the SimGear solution (SimGear.sln) located in "Where to build the binaries" (point 4.)
    9. Choose the "Release" build in the VS2010 "Generation" toolbar
      MVSC 2010 solution.png
    10. Generate the solution with F7 key or right-click the top level "Solution SimGear" in the Solution Explorer and choose Build.
    11. If there are build errors, return to CMake, clear remaining errors, CMake GUI Configure.png and CMake GUI Generate.png.
    12. When Visual Studio is able to build everything without errors, right-click on the INSTALL project (further down within the "Solution Simgear" solution) and choose Build, which will put the include and lib files in ${CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX}
  3. Building FlightGear
    Repeat the steps under Building Simgear, but change the SimGear paths to FlightGear.
  4. Enjoy!


When updating the source from git, it is usually unnecessary to restart CMake as the solution is able to reconfigure itself when CMake files are changed. Simply rebuild the solution from Visual Studio and accept the reload of updated projects.

It is also possible to edit CMakeList.txt files directly in Visual Studio as they also appear in the solution, and projects will be reconfigured on the next generation. To change build options or directory path, it is mandatory to use the CMake Gui. In case of problems, locate the CMakeCache.txt file in "Where to build the binaries” directory and delete it to reconfigure from scratch or use the menu item File > Delete Cache.


TerraGear can be built the same way as FlightGear, just change the paths to your TerraGear source and directories.

Jenkins Windows configurations


cmake ..\svn -G "Visual Studio 10"


cmake ..\SimGear -G "Visual Studio 10"


cmake ..\FlightGear -G "Visual Studio 10"


cmake ..\svn -G "Visual Studio 10" 


cmake ..\TerraGear -G "Visual Studio 10"

External link