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SerenityOS build instructions


Make sure you have all the dependencies installed:

Debian / Ubuntu

sudo apt install build-essential cmake curl libmpfr-dev libmpc-dev libgmp-dev e2fsprogs ninja-build qemu-system-gui qemu-system-x86 qemu-utils ccache rsync unzip texinfo libssl-dev

Optional: fuse2fs for building images without root.

GCC 12 or Clang 13

A host compiler that supports C++20 features is required for building host tools, the newer the better. Tested versions include gcc-12 and clang-13.

On Ubuntu gcc-12 is available in the repositories of 22.04 (Jammy) and later. If you are running an older version, you will either need to upgrade, or find an alternative installation source.

Next, update your local package information from this repository:

sudo apt update

Now on Ubuntu or Debian you can install gcc-12 with apt like this:

sudo apt install gcc-12 g++-12

QEMU 6.2 or later

Version 6.2 of QEMU is available in Ubuntu 22.04. On earlier versions of Ubuntu, you can build the recommended version of QEMU as provided by the toolchain by running Toolchain/ Note that you might need additional dev packages in order to build QEMU on your machine:

sudo apt install libgtk-3-dev libpixman-1-dev libsdl2-dev libspice-server-dev

CMake version 3.25.0 or later

Serenity-specific patches were upstreamed to CMake in major version 3.25. To avoid carrying patches to CMake, the minimum required CMake to build Serenity is set to that version. If more patches are upstreamed to CMake, the minimum will be bumped again once that version releases.

To accommodate distributions that do not ship bleeding-edge CMake versions, the build scripts will attempt to build CMake from source if the version on your path is older than 3.25.x.

If you have previously compiled SerenityOS with an older or distribution-provided version of CMake, you will need to manually remove the CMakeCache.txt files, as these files reference the older CMake version and path.

rm Build/*/CMakeCache.txt


If you're on Windows you can use WSL2 to build SerenityOS. Please have a look at the Windows guide for details.

Arch Linux / Manjaro

sudo pacman -S --needed base-devel cmake curl mpfr libmpc gmp e2fsprogs ninja qemu-desktop qemu-system-x86 qemu-system-aarch64 ccache rsync unzip

Optional: fuse2fs for building images without root.

Other systems

There is also documentation for installing the build prerequisites for some less commonly used systems:


In order to build SerenityOS you will first need to build the toolchain by running the following command:

Meta/ rebuild-toolchain

Later on, when you use git pull to get the latest changes, there's (usually) no need to rebuild the toolchain.

Run the following command to build and run SerenityOS:

Meta/ run

This will compile all of SerenityOS and install the built files into the Build/x86_64/Root directory inside your Git repository. It will also build a disk image and start SerenityOS using QEMU.

If, during build, an error like fusermount: failed to open /etc/mtab: No such file or directory appears, you have installed fuse2fs but your system does not provide the mtab symlink for various reasons. Simply create this symlink with ln -sv /proc/self/mounts /etc/mtab.

Note that the anon user is able to become root without a password by default, as a development convenience. To prevent this, remove anon from the wheel group and he will no longer be able to run /bin/su.

By default the anon user account's password is: foo

If you want to test whether your code changes compile without running the VM you can use Meta/ build. The script also provides a number of other commands. Run the script without arguments for a list.


To add a package from the ports collection to Serenity, for example curl, change into the Ports/curl directory and run ./ The source code for the package will be downloaded and the package will be built. The next time you start Serenity, curl will be available.

More information

At this point you should have a fully functioning VM for SerenityOS. The advanced build instructions guide has more information for some less commonly used features of the build system.