Difference between revisions of "User:Legoboyvdlp/Building using CMake - Windows"

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:::: SimGear / </tt> (create this empty for now, subfolders will be created by build process) <tt>
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::::: lib /
:::: FlightGear / </tt> (create this empty for now) <tt>
:::: FlightGear / </tt> (create this empty for now) <tt>
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:: flightgear-git /

Revision as of 19:12, 17 October 2020

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

This article is intended to give an overview of building FlightGear on modern Windows systems. It was created using Windows 10 and VS 2019. It ought to be transferrable to earlier versions of the Windows OS and software.

As FlightGear is now 64-bit only, the guide only describes building on a 64-bit system.

Required software

  • CMake for Windows. Download and install the Windows Win64-x64 Installer.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2019 (MSVC). The Community version is free. There is no need for the premium versions; none of their features are required to build FlightGear. The C++ compiler will not be installed by default. You either choose this component during installation or after installation by starting MSVC and trying to create a new C++ project. The one to download is "Desktop Development with C++". Make sure to have the last version of the Windows SDK and C++ Compiler checked. As of 08/10/2020, the latest version of the compiler is "MSVC 142 - VS 2019 C++ x64/86 build tools (v14.27)".
  • Qt5 for the Integrated Qt5 Launcher
  • Git to keep your build up to date. It also simplifies downloads of components. Optional, but can't recommend it enough!

Obtaining source

1rightarrow.png See FlightGear and Git for the main article about this subject.

Throughout this article it is assumed that you have set up git clones of the various source repositories (FlightGear, SimGear, data...). Using an organized directory (see below) will help significantly.

The commands to run are:

git clone https://git.code.sf.net/p/flightgear/simgear simgear-git

git clone https://git.code.sf.net/p/flightgear/flightgear flightgear-git

git clone https://git.code.sf.net/p/flightgear/fgdata data

The FGMETA scripts are optional but will help.

git clone https://git.code.sf.net/p/flightgear/fgmeta fgmeta

I would encourage people to access third party dependencies and OSG from Jenkins: you can build them if you wish, but it really is not needed.

prebuilt dependencies for 64 bit Windows (.zip)

prebuilt Boost library (.zip)

Building OSG is so unreliable at building and linking properly that I would very strongly recommend you to use the pre-built version: download this folder, and copy the archive/install/msvc140-64/OpenSceneGraph folder into the directory structure shown below.

prebuilt OSG for Windows x64

After downloading these, I would suggest assembling a folder structure as below:

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

${MSVC_3RDPARTY_ROOT} / (This can be any name -- this will be used as an environment variable)
3rdParty.x64 / (link above)
bin /
include /
lib /
Boost / (link above)
{boost libs} /
install /
msvc140-64 / (i.e. MSVC version 14.0 or later for 64 bit)
OpenSceneGraph / (link above)
bin /
include /
lib /
SimGear / (create this empty for now, subfolders will be created by build process)
FlightGear / (create this empty for now)
Source /
flightgear-git /
simgear-git /
data /
BuildDirs /
flightgear-build /
simgear-build /


GUI compilation

  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 14 2015 (or Visual Studio 14 2015 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. Set the CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX variable to ${MSVC_3RDPARTY_ROOT}/install/msvc140/SimGear (msvc140-64 for 64-bit).
      3. Also check the lines with a checkbox. These are build options and may impact the feature set of the built program.
    6. Repeat the process from step 5, until CMake GUI Generate.png is enabled.
    7. Press CMake GUI Generate.png.
    8. Start Visual Studio 2015 and open the SimGear solution (SimGear.sln) located in "Where to build the binaries".
    9. Choose the "Release" build in the toolbar. The right menu should read Win32 for 32-bits or x64 for 64-bits.
      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!

Script compilation

Firstly set up the directory structure as above. For the following scripts, the Windows environmental variable MSVC_3RDPARTY_ROOT must be set to the full path where this is located.


For building SimGear with MSVC 2015 as 64-bit:

Place the script in a new directory within the SimGear sources such as build. To clean up the build files, another batch file can be used:


For building FlightGear with MSVC 2015 as 64-bit:

Place the script in a new directory within the FlightGear sources such as build. To clean up the build files, another batch file can be used:


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. When the Simgear/FlightGear version numbers change, you do have to re-run CMake.

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

When using CMake GUI, you can add those entries by clicking the Add entry button. Note that you should omit the -D prefix.




External link