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How to compile

Congratulations, you checked out the simutrans source. To compile it,
you have many options, either using Microsoft Visual C++ Express (which
is free in Version 7.0 or up) or some GCC variant including clang.

To compile you will need the following libraries:
libz (
libpng ( for makeobj
libbz2.lib (compile from source from

The following are also recommendend, but optional
libfreetype (
libminiupnpc (

For the recommended SDL2-support you need
libSDL2 [better than libSDL] (
libSDL_mixer (link from the same page)

The link for allegro lib is (but the allegro backend has not been
tested for a long time):

To make life easier, you can follow the instructions to compile OpenTTD:
A system set up for OpenTTD will also compile simutrans (except for
bzlib2, see below sections).

If you are on a MS Windows machine, download either MS VC Express or
MSYS2. MSVC is easy for debugging, MSYS2 is easy to set up (but it has to
be done on the command line).

The packages needed for MSYS2 are
mingw-w64-i686-SDL (Only if you want an SDL build OR for sound on SDL2)
mingw-w64-i686-SDL2 (Only if you want an SDL2 build)
mingw-w64-i686-freetype (for scaleable font support)
mingw-w64-i686-miniupnpc (for easy server option)
mingw-w64-i686-libpng (for makeobj)
mingw-w64-i686-pkg-config (for makeobj)

For all other systems, it is recommended you get latest GCC 3.46 or higher
and matching zlib, libbzip2, and libpng and SDL or SDL2 libbrary. For linux
systems you may have to use tools like apt-get, yast2, yum, ...

Typical package names are (ending may be also -devel)
libsdl2-dev or libsdl1.2-dev
Depending on your distribution, there may be also number needed, like
libfreetype2-dev or libminiupnpc6-dev

To build on Haiku you must use GCC4 (type "setarch x86" in the current
nightlies). To incorporate bz2lib, download make bz2lib and add them
manually (via FLAGS = -I/dwonloadeddir -L/downloadeddir). However, simutrans
has a Haikuporter package, which may build the lastest version.

A subversion will be also a good idea. You can find some of them on:
or you some other client.

Check out the latest source from the SVN or check out a certain revision.
I recommend always to use the latest source, since it does not make any
sense to work with buggy code.

The address is:

A commandline would look like this:
svn checkout svn://

If everything is set up, you can run configure inside trunk. This should
create a config.default file with all the needed settings. Try to compile
using make. You can manually fine edit config.default to enable other

Typically you type into a command window:

The executable compiled by this is located in the directory "build/default",
i.e. "./build/default/sim" You can start it by this
cd simutrans
../build/default/sim -use_workdir
but you will need to add at least one pak to the simutrans directory.

You can run ./distribute which will give you a zip file that contains
everything (minus a pak) needed to run simutrans.


If you want to contribute, read the coding guidelines in

The following instructions are manual setup for GCC/Clang systems:

Go to simutrans/trunk.

Then copy the file trunk/config.template to trunk/config.default and edit
the file. You must define (i.e. uncomment by removing the leading # character)
at least the following variables:

- BACKEND (gdi, allegro, SDL, SDL2, posix)
- OSTYPE (you should know it)

I recommend to uncomment #DEBUG=1 and #OPTIMISE = 1 (i.e. removing the #),
if you build for your own use.

For allegro or libsdl you may need to define the path of the config file
(or at least on win98 an empty path).

Finally type make. If you want a smaller program and do not care about error
messages, you can comment out #DEBUG=1 and run "strip sim" resp.
"strip sim.exe" after compile and linking.

The following instructions are for MS Visual C Express:

Download Visual Express C++ (tested for 2012 upwards)

For most libraries you will easily find binaries. A quick start for some of
them is the bundle used for OpenTTD:

The bzip2 source tarball comes with an archive where you can easily build
your own libbz2.lib file.

For debugging, you have to set the correct working directory, i.e. the
directory where the pak/ folders are located and use the -use_workdir
command line option.

Nagoya, Oct 2018
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