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A Beginner's Guide To Desurium

Cheeseness edited this page Nov 19, 2012 · 22 revisions

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What is this Desurium thing?

Desurium is the Free/Open Source project that future versions of the Desura client will be based on. We're also hoping that Desurium will be an exciting way to try out upcoming features before they appear in an official Desura client build and will find its way into Linux repositories as well.

So, what's the current status of Desurium? What should I expect?

At the moment, we're approaching our first Desurium release. Our main goals so far have been to simplify our dependencies and improve stability. Specifically, we've done these things:

  • Improved stability while uploading/downloading
  • New CMake build system
  • The default storage location is now separated from the Desurium application folder in Linux (~/.desura)
  • Simplified build requirements (no longer needing git/svn)
  • Additional localisations (Brazillian, Bulgarian, Czech, Greek, Japanese and Slovenian)
  • A whole lot more (you can find a full list of closed issues here: )

We would greatly appreciate feedback (see the "How do I get involved?" section below) on any and all of these items.

OK, how do I get it?

Currently, the best ways to get Desurium are as follow:

  • Clone the git repository and compile it
  • Download a source snapshot and compile it In the future you may also be able to get Desurium in one of these ways:
  • Download a compiled release or preview version
  • If you use GNU/Linux, you may find Desurium in your distro's repository

That doesn't sound very friendly. Why would I want to compile Desurium?

By compiling, you can get access to and give us feedback on new features faster than we could put compiled releases together. Building Desurium can take around 25 minutes on a dual core system with 4GB of ram. Compiling Desurium isn't as scary as it might sound. We have what we call "build scripts" that automate the compiling process for you.

Assuming that you've already downloaded and extracted or cloned the Desurium source, follow these steps on Linux:

  1. Launch a terminal and cd into the folder containing the Desurium source.
  2. Run "sh" from the terminal (without quotes). This will install all the things that Desurium requires.
  3. Run "sh" from the terminal (without quotes). This will compile Desurum.
  4. Watch all the lines go past. From here, you can cd into the install folder and run "sh" from the terminal (without quotes) to launch Desurium.

Assuming that you've already downloaded and extracted or cloned the Desurium source, follow these steps on Windows:

These instructions are not properly tested yet.

There are two common ways of compiling C/C++ sources on Windows; one is with MinGW and the other way is with the Windows SDK. Either way, there are two tools that you'll need to get in order to complete either method, these are msysgit and CMake. Download links are below. (msysgit) (CMake) Note that it is possible to avoid using msysgit, but it is not recommended. If you don't want it, then you can download the Desurium sources each time you want to update, from the github page at (Press "Download ZIP").

How to use msysgit

You'll want to use msysgit to retrieve the newest version of the Desurium sources. After you have downloaded msysgit, and installed it (if you are concerned about the choices given to you during installation, just go with the default ones), now run Git GUI, choose "Clone Existing Repository" and in the "Source Location" field, paste this git:// and in the "Target Directory" field, you can point to any folder on your computer (Note that this directory can not exist). Now press "Clone", and it should start downloading the sources, so just wait until it is done.

How to use CMake

CMake is the second software that is required to successfully build Desurium. After you have downloaded CMake from the link provided above, and you have successfully installed it, run what is called "CMake (cmake-gui)". In the "Where is the source code" field, browse to the Desurium folder, which you downloaded with msysgit. In the "Where to build the binaries" field, copy over the destination to the Desurium folder, and append "/build". Now press Configure, if prompted to create folder, press yes. To proceed, you will have to know which method you want to use to compile, MinGW or the Windows SDK. When you have chosen, continue with the section below, named after the choice you made.

Windows SDK

Coming soon. If impatient, look into NMake environment variables and run CMake GUI from the Command prompt, by typing cmake-gui, after you have set the environment variables in the same command prompt. Then choose NMake from the drop-down menu, provided by the window that opens once you press Configure, and then continue.


Coming soon. If impatient, try choosing this option from the drop-down menu, provided by the window that opens once you press Configure, and then continue.

Oh wow, this stuff is exciting! How can I get involved?

There are (at least) five ways you can help the Desurium project:

  • Use Desurium and provide feedback on your experience either in the form of "issues" on github or as posts in the Desura developer forums.
  • Test the specific features or functionality mentioned in the "current status of Desurium" section above, and provide feedback.
  • Browse the open "issues" on the Desurium github and research relevant information to aid discussion.
  • Contribute fixes or enhancements as "pull requests" to the Desurium github repository.
  • Request from your distro's package maintainers that Desurium be included (this is often done by filing a "request for enhancement" bug) or consider maintaining a Desurium package for your distro.

I'm having problems with Desurium. How can I find help or ask questions?

You may be able to find information or ask in one of the following places:

  • Discussion on related "issues" in the Desurium github repository.
  • The #desura IRC channel on
  • The Desura developer forums.

Please note, Desura does not provide support for Desurium. Please only contact with regards to problems you're experiencing with an official Desura client build.

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