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WARNING: CMake build is NOT official and should be used for dev purposes ONLY.

For official way to build CataclysmDDA See:


  1. Prerequisites
  2. Build Environment * UNIX Environment * Windows Environment
  3. CMake Build * MinGW,MSYS,MSYS2
  4. Build Options * CMake specific options * CataclysmDDA specific options

#1. Prerequisites

You'll need to have these libraries and their development headers installed in order to build CataclysmDDA:

  • General
    • cmake >= 2.6.11
    • gcc-libs
    • glibc
    • zlib
    • bzip2
  • Optional
    • lua51
    • gettext
  • Curses
    • ncurses
  • Tiles
    • SDL >= 2.0.0
    • SDL_image >= 2.0.0 (with PNG and JPEG support)
    • SDL_mixer >= 2.0.0 (with Ogg Vorbis support)
    • SDL_ttf >= 2.0.0
    • freetype
  • Sound
    • vorbis
    • libbz2
    • libz
    • libintl
    • iconv

#2. Build Environment

You can obtain the source code tarball for the latest version from git.

UNIX Environment

The following build systems are fully supported for compiling CataclysmDDA on Linux, BSD, and other Unix-like platforms:

  • CMake >= 2.6.11

Windows Environment (MSYS2)

  1. Follow steps from here:
  2. Install CataclysmDDA build deps:
   pacman -S mingw-w64-i686-toolchain msys/git \
   	  mingw-w64-i686-cmake \
   	  mingw-w64-i686-SDL2_{image,mixer,ttf} \
   	  mingw-w64-i686-lua51 \
   	  ncurses-devel \

This should get your environment set up to build console and tiles version of windows.

NOTE: This is only for 32bit builds. 64bit requires the x86_64 instead of the i686 packages listed above:

   pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-toolchain msys/git \
   	  mingw-w64-x86_64-cmake \
   	  mingw-w64-x86_64-SDL2_{image,mixer,ttf} \
   	  mingw-w64-x86_64-lua51 \
   	  ncurses-devel \

NOTE: If you're trying to test with Jetbrains CLion, point to the cmake version in the msys32/mingw32 path instead of using the built in. This will let cmake detect the installed packages.

CMake Build

CMake has separate configuration and build steps. Configuration is done using CMake itself, and the actual build is done using make.

There are two ways to build CataclysmDDA with CMake: inside the source tree or outside of it. Out-of-source builds have the advantage that you can have multiple builds with different options from one source directory.

WARNING: Inside the source tree build is NOT supported.

To build CataclysmDDA out of source:

   $ mkdir build && cd build
   $ cmake .. -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release
   $ make

To install CataclysmDDA after building (as root using su or sudo if necessary):

   # make install

To change build options, you can either pass the options on the command line:

   $ cmake .. -DOPTION_NAME=option_value

Or use either the ccmake or cmake-gui front-ends, which display all options and their cached values on a console and graphical UI, respectively.

   $ ccmake ..
   $ cmake-gui ..

CMake Build Mingw,MSYS,MSYS2

NOTE: For development purposes it is preferred to use MinGW Win64 Shell or MinGW Win32 Shell instead of MSYS2 Shell. In other case, you will need to set PATH variable manually.

For Mingw,MSYS,MSYS2 you should set Makefiles generator

Valid choices for MINGW/MSYS are:

  • MSYS Makefiles
  • MinGW Makefiles


   # cd <Path-to-CataclysmDDA-Sources>
   # mkdir build
   # cd build

For MinGW32:

   $ cmake -G "MSYS Makefiles" \
   $ mingw32-make

For MinGW64:

       $ cmake -G "MSYS Makefiles" \
   $ mingw32-make

Shared libraries:

If you got libgcc_s_dw2-1.dll not found error you need to copy shared libraries to directory with CataclysmDDA executables.

NOTE: For -DRELEASE=OFF development builds, You can automate copy process with:

   $ mingw32-make install

However, it likely will fail b/c you have different build environment setup :)

Currently known depends (Maybe outdated use ldd.exe to correct it for Your system)

  • MINGW deps:

    • libwinpthread-1.dll
    • libgcc_s_dw2-1.dll
    • libstdc++-6.dll
  • LOCALIZE deps:

    • libintl-8.dll
    • libiconv-2.dll
  • LUA deps:

    • lua51.dll
  • TILES deps:

    • SDL2.dll
    • SDL2_ttf.dll
    • libfreetype-6.dll
    • libbz2-1.dll
    • libharfbuzz-0.dll
    • SDL2_image.dll
    • libpng16-16.dll
    • libjpeg-8.dll
    • libtiff-5.dll
    • libjbig-0.dll
    • liblzma-5.dll
    • libwebp-5.dll
    • zlib1.dll
    • libglib-2.0-0.dll
  • SOUND deps:

    • SDL2_mixer.dll
    • libFLAC-8.dll
    • libogg-0.dll
    • libfluidsynth-1.dll
    • libportaudio-2.dll
    • libsndfile-1.dll
    • libvorbis-0.dll
    • libvorbisenc-2.dll
    • libmodplug-1.dll
    • smpeg2.dll
    • libvorbisfile-3.dll

Build Options

A full list of options supported by CMake, you may either run the ccmake or cmake-gui front-ends, or run cmake and open the generated CMakeCache.txt from the build directory in a text editor.

   $ cmake -DOPTION_NAME1=option_value1 [-DOPTION_NAME2=option_value2 [...]]

CMake specific options

  • CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=<build type>

Selects a specific build configuration when compiling. release produces the default, optimized (-Os) build for regular use. debug produces a slower and larger unoptimized (-O0) build with full debug symbols, which is often needed for obtaining detailed backtraces when reporting bugs.

NOTE: By default, CMake will produce debug builds unless a different configuration option is passed in the command line.

  • CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=<full path>

Installation prefix for binaries, resources, and documentation files.

CataclysmDDA specific options

  • CURSES=<boolean>

Build curses version.

  • TILES=<boolean>

Build graphical tileset version.

  • SOUND=<boolean>

Support for in-game sounds & music.

  • LUA=<boolean>

This enables Lua support. Needed only for full-fledged mods.

  • USE_HOME_DIR=<boolean>

Use user's home directory for save files.

  • LOCALIZE=<boolean>

Support for language localizations. Also enable UTF support.

  • DYNAMIC_LINKING=<boolean>

Use dynamic linking. Or use static to remove MinGW dependency instead.

  • LANGUAGES=<str>

Compile localization files for specified languages. Example:

  • LUA_BINARY=<str>

Override default Lua binary name or path. You can try to use luajit for extra speed.

  • GIT_BINARY=<str>

Override default Git binary name or path.

So a CMake command for building Cataclysm-DDA in release mode with tiles, sound and lua support will look as follows, provided it is run in build directory located in the project.