Compiling and Installing

  1. Prerequisites for building
  2. Building with autoconf (Linux/Unix/X11)
  3. Building with SCons (Windows/Linux)
  4. Building for other systems
  5. Library Information
  6. Building OpenGL programs with pkg-config

1. Prerequisites for building

1.1 General

  • Python - Python is required. Version 2.6.4 or later should work.

  • Python Mako module - Python Mako module is required. Version 0.3.4 or later should work.

  • SCons is required for building on Windows and optional for Linux (it’s an alternative to autoconf/automake.)

  • lex / yacc - for building the GLSL compiler.
    On Linux systems, flex and bison are used. Versions 2.5.35 and 2.4.1, respectively, (or later) should work.
    On Windows with MinGW, install flex and bison with:
    mingw-get install msys-flex msys-bison

    For MSVC on Windows, install Win flex-bison.

  • For building on Windows, Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 or later is required.

1.2 For DRI and hardware acceleration

The following are required for DRI-based hardware acceleration with Mesa:

  • dri2proto version 2.6 or later
  • libDRM latest version
  • Xorg server version 1.5 or later
  • Linux 2.6.28 or later

If you’re using a fedora distro the following command should install all the needed dependencies:

sudo yum install flex bison imake libtool xorg-x11-proto-devel libdrm-devel \
gcc-c++ xorg-x11-server-devel libXi-devel libXmu-devel libXdamage-devel git \
expat-devel llvm-devel python-mako

2. Building with autoconf (Linux/Unix/X11)

The primary method to build Mesa on Unix systems is with autoconf.

The general approach is the standard:

sudo make install

But please read the detailed autoconf instructions for more details.

3. Building with SCons (Windows/Linux)

To build Mesa with SCons on Linux or Windows do


The build output will be placed in build/platform-machine-debug/..., where platform is for example linux or windows, machine is x86 or x86_64, optionally followed by -debug for debug builds.

To build Mesa with SCons for Windows on Linux using the MinGW crosscompiler toolchain do

scons platform=windows toolchain=crossmingw machine=x86 libgl-gdi

This will create:

  • build/windows-x86-debug/gallium/targets/libgl-gdi/opengl32.dll — Mesa + Gallium + softpipe (or llvmpipe), binary compatible with Windows’s opengl32.dll

Put them all in the same directory to test them.

4. Building for other systems

Documentation for other environments (some may be very out of date):

5. Library Information

When compilation has finished, look in the top-level lib/ (or lib64/) directory. You’ll see a set of library files similar to this:

lrwxrwxrwx    1 brian    users          10 Mar 26 07:53 ->*
lrwxrwxrwx    1 brian    users          19 Mar 26 07:53 ->*
-rwxr-xr-x    1 brian    users     3375861 Mar 26 07:53*
lrwxrwxrwx    1 brian    users          14 Mar 26 07:53 ->*
lrwxrwxrwx    1 brian    users          23 Mar 26 07:53 ->*
-rwxr-xr-x    1 brian    users       23871 Mar 26 07:53*
libGL is the main OpenGL library (i.e. Mesa).
libOSMesa is the OSMesa (Off-Screen) interface library.

If you built the DRI hardware drivers, you’ll also see the DRI drivers:

-rwxr-xr-x   1 brian users 16895413 Jul 21 12:11
-rwxr-xr-x   1 brian users 16895413 Jul 21 12:11
-rwxr-xr-x   1 brian users 11849858 Jul 21 12:12
-rwxr-xr-x   1 brian users 11757388 Jul 21 12:12

If you built with Gallium support, look in lib/gallium/ for Gallium-based versions of libGL and device drivers.

6. Building OpenGL programs with pkg-config

Running make install will install package configuration files for the pkg-config utility.

When compiling your OpenGL application you can use pkg-config to determine the proper compiler and linker flags.

For example, compiling and linking a GLUT application can be done with:

gcc `pkg-config --cflags --libs glut` mydemo.c -o mydemo