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Compilation guide (Linux)

Themaister edited this page Apr 29, 2013 · 7 revisions

Compilation on Linux and BSD does not have many surprises, as its foundation is Unix-based.


At least one libretro implementation
Working OpenGL headers (should be included by default, but you might need to install libgl/mesa development packages)

Optional dependencies

libxml2 - For XML shaders and cheat support.
freetype - TTF font rendering
ffmpeg/libavcodec - FFmpeg recording
nvidia-cg-toolkit - Cg shaders

Some other libraries can be built support for as well, please refer to ./configure --help.

Building libretro cores

You should at least build one libretro implementation so RetroArch can do stuff. There is a super-project that is designed to easily build every libretro port out there. To build every core:

git clone git://
cd libretro-super
sh <path>

Building RetroArch

Once dependencies are installed, you can pull and install from Git:

git clone git://
cd RetroArch
./configure # Script will autodetect features. Refer to --help if you want to override anything, such as --prefix.
sudo make install

Building RetroArch-Phoenix (GUI launcher)

If you want a GUI launcher as well, you can build it too:

git clone git://
cd RetroArch-Phoenix
make # Will build for GTK2 by default. If you're a KDE user or prefer Qt, you can build for Qt with make -f Makefile.qt.
sudo make install

Enjoy! :)

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