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wxWidgets for GTK+ installation
If you experience problems installing, please re-read these
instructions and other related files (todo.txt, bugs.txt and
osname.txt for your platform if it exists) carefully before
mailing wxwin-users or the author. Preferably, try to fix the
problem first and then send a patch to the author.
When sending bug reports tell us what version of wxWidgets you are
using (including the beta) and what compiler on what system. One
example: wxGTK 2.8.0, gcc 3.4.5, Fedora Core 4
* The simplest case
If you compile wxWidgets on Linux for the first time and don't like to read
install instructions just do (in the base dir):
> mkdir buildgtk
> cd buildgtk
> ../configure --with-gtk
> make
> su <type root password>
> make install
> ldconfig
[if you get "ldconfig: command not found", try using "/sbin/ldconfig"]
If you don't do the 'make install' part, you can still use the libraries from
the buildgtk directory, but they may not be available to other users.
If you want to remove wxWidgets on Unix you can do this:
> su <type root password>
> make uninstall
> ldconfig
Note that by default, GTK+ 2.X is used. GTK+ 1.2 can be specified
with --with-gtk=1.
* The expert case
If you want to do some more serious cross-platform programming with wxWidgets,
such as for GTK+ and Motif, you can now build two complete libraries and use
them concurrently. To do this, create a separate directory for each build
of wxWidgets - you may also want to create different versions of wxWidgets
and test them concurrently. Most typically, this would be a version configured
with --enable-debug and one without.
For building three versions (one GTK+, one Motif and a debug version of the GTK
source) you'd do this:
mkdir buildmotif
cd buildmotif
../configure --with-motif
cd ..
mkdir buildgtk
cd buildgtk
../configure --with-gtk
cd ..
mkdir buildgtkd
cd buildgtkd
../configure --with-gtk --enable-debug
cd ..
Note that you can install all those libraries concurrently, you just need to
pass the appropriate flags when using them.
* The simplest errors
For any configure errors: please look at config.log file which was generated
during configure run, it usually contains some useful information.
configure reports, that you don't have GTK+ 1.2/2.0 installed although you are
very sure you have. Well, you have installed it, but you also have another
version of the GTK+ installed, which you may need to remove including other
versions of glib (and its headers). Or maybe you installed it in a non-default
location and configure can't find it there, so please check that your PATH
variable includes the path to the correct gtk-config/pkg-config. Also check
that your LD_LIBRARY_PATH or equivalent variable contains the path to GTK+
libraries if they were installed in a non-default location.
You get errors from make: please use GNU make instead of the native make
program. Currently wxWidgets can be built only with GNU make, BSD make and
Solaris make. Other versions might work or not (any which don't have VPATH
support definitely won't).
You get errors during compilation: The reason is that you probably have a
broken compiler. GCC 2.8 and earlier versions and egcs are likely to cause
problems due to incomplete support for C++ and optimisation bugs. Best to use
GCC 2.95 or later.
You get immediate segfault when starting any sample or application: This is
either due to having compiled the library with different flags or options than
your program - typically you might have the __WXDEBUG__ option set for the
library but not for your program - or due to using a compiler with optimisation
* The simplest program
Now create your super-application myfoo.cpp and compile anywhere with
g++ myfoo.cpp `wx-config --libs --cxxflags` -o myfoo
* GUI libraries
wxWidgets/GTK+ requires the GTK+ library to be installed on your system. It has
to be a stable version, preferably GTK+ 2.x.y, where x is an even number.
GTK+ version 1.2 is highly discouraged, but if you decide to still use it,
please use version 1.2.10 (at least 1.2.3 is required, 1.2.7 is strongly recommended).
You can get the newest version of the GTK+ from the GTK+ homepage at:
We also mirror GTK+ at my ftp site. You'll find information about downloading
at my homepage.
* Additional libraries
wxWidgets/Gtk requires a thread library and X libraries known to work with
threads. This is the case on all commercial Unix-Variants and all
Linux-Versions that are based on glibc 2 except RedHat 5.0 which is broken in
many aspects. As of writing this, virtually all Linux distributions have
correct glibc 2 support.
You can disable thread support by running
./configure --disable-threads
su <type root password>
make install
* Building wxGTK on OS/2
Please send comments and question about the OS/2 installation
to Stefan Neis <> and patches to
the wxWidgets mailing list.
In the following list, the version numbers indicate the configuration that
was actually used by myself, newer version should cause no problems and
even older ones are expected to work most of the time.
You'll need OS/2 Warp (4.51) or eCS(1.0), X-Free86/2 (3.3.6 or newer),
GTK+ (1.2.5 or newer), emx (0.9d fix 4), a Unix like shell (pdksh-5.2.14 or
ash), Autoconf (2.57), GNU file utilities (3.13), GNU text utilities (1.19),
GNU shell utilites (1.12), m4 (1.4), sed (2.05), grep (2.0), Awk (3.0.3),
GNU Make (3.75).
Preferably, you should have Posix/2 installed and C(PLUS)_INCLUDE_PATH and
LIBRARY_PATH set up accordingly, however, wxGTK will even work without it.
Presence of Posix/2 will be auto-detected.
Open an OS/2 prompt and switch to the directory above.
Set MAKESHELL or MAKE_SHELL (which one is needed depends on the version of
make) to a Unix like shell, e.g.
If you have a really deficient version of GNU make, it might even be
necessary to set SHELL or even COMSPEC to a unix like shell as well.
Depending on your installation you might want to also set INSTALL, for me
it tends to try to use the system's tcpip\pcomos\install.exe which causes
problems, e.g.
SET INSTALL=<path_to_src_directory>/install-sh -c
Notice that the delivered configure scripts are fully OS/2 aware, so you
can simply run
ash -c "configure --with-gtk=1"
and make and possibly make install as described above.
* Building wxGTK on SGI
Using the SGI native compilers, it is recommended that you
also set CFLAGS and CXXFLAGS before running configure. These
should be set to :
CFLAGS="-mips3 -n32"
CXXFLAGS="-mips3 -n32"
This is essential if you want to use the resultant binaries
on any other machine than the one it was compiled on. If you
have a 64bit machine (Octane) you should also do this to ensure
you don't accidently build the libraries as 64bit (which is
The SGI native compiler support has only been tested on Irix 6.5.
* Building wxGTK on Cygwin
The normal build instructions should work fine on Cygwin. The one difference
with Cygwin is that when using the "--enable-shared" configure option (which
is the default) the API is exported explicitly using __declspec(dllexport)
rather than all global symbols being available.
This shouldn't make a difference using the library and should be a little
more efficient. However if an export attribute has been missed somewhere you
will see linking errors. If this happens then you can work around the
problem by setting LDFLAGS=-Wl,--export-all-symbols. Please also let us know
about it on the wx-dev mailing list.
* Create your configuration
./configure options
If you want to use system's C and C++ compiler,
set environment variables CC and CXX as
% setenv CC cc
% setenv CXX CC
% ./configure [options]
to see all the options please use:
./configure --help
It is recommended to build wxWidgets in another directory (maybe a
subdirectory of your wxWidgets installation) as this allows you to
have multiple configurations (for example, debug and release or GTK
and Motif) simultaneously.
* General options
Given below are the commands to change the default behaviour,
i.e. if it says "--disable-threads" it means that threads
are enabled by default.
Normally, you won't have to choose a toolkit, because when
you download wxGTK, it will default to --with-gtk etc. But
if you use all of our SVN repository you have to choose a
toolkit. You must do this by running configure with either of:
--with-gtk=2 Use the GTK+ 2.0. Default.
--with-gtk=1 Use the GTK+ 1.2.
--with-motif Use either Motif or Lesstif
Configure will look for both.
The following options handle the kind of library you want to build.
--disable-threads Compile without thread support.
--disable-shared Do not create shared libraries, but
build static libraries instead.
--enable-monolithic Build wxWidgets as single library instead
of as several smaller libraries (which is
the default since wxWidgets 2.5.0).
--disable-optimise Do not optimise the code. Can
sometimes be useful for debugging
and is required on some architectures
such as Sun with gcc 2.8.X which
would otherwise produce segvs.
--enable-unicode Enable Unicode support.
--enable-profile Add profiling info to the object
files. Currently broken, I think.
--enable-no_rtti Enable compilation without creation of
C++ RTTI information in object files.
This will speed-up compilation and reduce
binary size.
--enable-no_exceptions Enable compilation without creation of
C++ exception information in object files.
This will speed-up compilation and reduce
binary size. Also fewer crashes during the
actual compilation...
--enable-no_deps Enable compilation without creation of
dependency information.
--enable-permissive Enable compilation without checking for strict
ANSI conformance. Useful to prevent the build
dying with errors as soon as you compile with
Solaris' ANSI-defying headers.
--enable-mem_tracing Add built-in memory tracing.
--enable-dmalloc Use the dmalloc memory debugger.
--enable-debug_info Add debug info to object files and
executables for use with debuggers
such as gdb (or its many frontends).
--enable-debug_flag Define __DEBUG__ and __WXDEBUG__ when
compiling. This enable wxWidgets' very
useful internal debugging tricks (such
as automatically reporting illegal calls)
to work. Note that program and library
must be compiled with the same debug
--enable-debug Same as --enable-debug_info and
--enable-debug_flag together. Unless you have
some very specific needs, you should use this
option instead of --enable-debug_info/flag ones
* Feature Options
When producing an executable that is linked statically with wxGTK
you'll be surprised at its immense size. This can sometimes be
drastically reduced by removing features from wxWidgets that
are not used in your program. The most relevant such features
--with-odbc Enables ODBC code. This is disabled
by default because iODBC is under the
L-GPL license which is less liberal than
wxWidgets license.
--without-libpng Disables PNG image format code.
--without-libjpeg Disables JPEG image format code.
--without-libtiff Disables TIFF image format code.
--without-expat Disable XML classes based on Expat parser.
--disable-pnm Disables PNM image format code.
--disable-gif Disables GIF image format code.
--disable-pcx Disables PCX image format code.
--disable-iff Disables IFF image format code.
--disable-resources Disables the use of *.wxr type resources.
--disable-threads Disables threads. Will also disable sockets.
--disable-sockets Disables sockets.
--disable-dnd Disables Drag'n'Drop.
--disable-clipboard Disables Clipboard.
--disable-serial Disables object instance serialisation.
--disable-streams Disables the wxStream classes.
--disable-file Disables the wxFile class.
--disable-textfile Disables the wxTextFile class.
--disable-intl Disables the internationalisation.
--disable-validators Disables validators.
--disable-accel Disables accelerators support.
Apart from disabling certain features you can very often "strip"
the program of its debugging information resulting in a significant
reduction in size.
Please see the output of "./configure --help" for comprehensive list
of all configurable options.
* Compiling
The following must be done in the base directory (e.g. ~/wxGTK
or ~/wxWin or whatever)
Now the makefiles are created (by configure) and you can compile
the library by typing:
make yourself some coffee, as it will take some time. On an old
386SX possibly two weeks. During compilation, you'll get a few
warning messages depending in your compiler.
If you want to be more selective, you can change into a specific
directory and type "make" there.
Then you may install the library and its header files under
/usr/local/include/wx and /usr/local/lib respectively. You
have to log in as root (i.e. run "su" and enter the root
password) and type
make install
You can remove any traces of wxWidgets by typing
make uninstall
If you want to save disk space by removing unnecessary
make clean
in the various directories will do the work for you.
* Creating a new Project
1) The first way uses the installed libraries and header files
automatically using wx-config
g++ myfoo.cpp `wx-config --cxxflags --libs` -o myfoo
Using this way, a make file for the minimal sample would look
like this
CC = gcc
minimal: minimal.o
$(CC) -o minimal minimal.o `wx-config --libs`
minimal.o: minimal.cpp mondrian.xpm
$(CC) `wx-config --cxxflags` -c minimal.cpp -o minimal.o
rm -f *.o minimal
If your application uses only some of wxWidgets libraries, you can
specify required libraries when running wx-config. For example,
`wx-config --libs=html,core` will only output link command to link
with libraries required by core GUI classes and wxHTML classes. See
the manual for more information on the libraries.
2) The other way creates a project within the source code
directories of wxWidgets. For this endeavour, you'll need
GNU autoconf version 2.14 and add an entry to your
to the bottom of the script and run autoconf
and configure before you can type make.
In the hope that it will be useful,
Robert Roebling