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Currently, FreeOrion will compile in most recent Windows, Linux, and MacOSX. The *BSD genus of operating systems might also work; follow the Linux instructions in this case.



First of all, you will need to obtain the source from GitHub. The versions available on the project page are official releases or point releases, and may be somewhat or very out of date. To help with programming FreeOrion, you will need to grab the Git master repository latest version. Then you need to set up the required software, compile the game, and run it.

Hardware requirements

The FreeOrion code makes heavy use of templates, and requires much memory to compile; 4 GB or more RAM is recommended.

On Linux, shutting down your X server and compiling from console may help on systems with little RAM. (If this doesn't mean anything to you, simply ignore this advice.)

You will also need a fast processor. To build GG and FreeOrion, expect up to 45 minutes of a Core i5 system, or over an hour on a Core2 Duo system; on a Core i7 system it can be under 10 minutes.

Note that, while not required to compile FreeOrion, running the FreeOrion client requires a graphics card and drivers that support OpenGL 2.0.

Software requirements

Note: On Windows and OSX, most dependencies are available pre-compiled in the FreeOrion SDK.

  • Boost - version 1.56 or later.
  • FreeType2 -version 2.5.3 is known to work.
  • Python - version 2.7 or later (version 2.x only; 3.x will not work)
  • OpenAL
  • libogg - version 1.1.3 or later 1.2.1 is known to work.
  • libvorbis - version 1.1.2 or later 1.3.2 is known to work.
  • zlib - version 1.2.5 is known to work with libpng 1.4.4
  • libpng - version 1.6 works.
  • SDL2 - version 2.0.3 works.
  • GLEW - (Windows only) version 1.5.7 is known to work.

Getting the source


The source code can be obtained from freeorion/freeorion/master repository on GitHub.

Prior to March 2015, FreeOrion source code was stored and managed on SourceForge Subversion (SVN). This repository is now retired, and future development with occur on GitHub.

FreeOrion SDK

There are Software Development Kits (SDKs) availaboe for Windows and MacOSX which contain precompiled dependencies needed for building FreeOrion from source. You may download and build all of these open-source dependencies yourself if you prefer. Using the SDK is likely faster and easier, however.

The SDKs do not contain the FreeOrion source code, which must be retrieved from GitHub.

Git Tarballs

Release builds are tagged in the freeorion/freeorion GitHub repository. Zipped downloads of the repository are available there.

Subversion Tarballs (old)

The SourceForge Subversion web-client allows one to download pre-March-2015 numbered versions of the source code as a tarball:

FreeOrion v0.4.4
FreeOrion v0.4.3
FreeOrion v0.4.2
FreeOrion v0.4.1
FreeOrion v0.4
FreeOrion v0.3.17
FreeOrion v0.3.16
FreeOrion v0.3.15
FreeOrion v0.3.14
FreeOrion v0.3.13
FreeOrion v0.3.12.1 for Linux
FreeOrion v0.3.12 for Windows
FreeOrion v0.3.11
FreeOrion v0.3.10


Compilation instructions and troubleshooting tips are available for the following operating systems: