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4.20.1 Creating an External Crystal Space Application

This section describes how to use the Crystal Space development kit for your own application. Two methods are described: (1) using the Crystal Space Jam-based build system, (2) using a traditional Makefile-based build system.

External Application Requirements

For these techniques to work you need to have a sufficiently Unix-like environment. The environments provided by GNU/Linux, MacOS/X, Msys/Mingw, and Cygwin are all acceptable.

If you installed Crystal Space in a non-standard location, then you probably will also need to set the ‘CRYSTAL’ environment variable to point at the the location where the SDK was installed. For instance, if you specified ‘--prefix=/site/sdk’ when configuring Crystal Space, then you will need to set ‘CRYSTAL’ to ‘/site/sdk’. Using the Bourne shell or compatible (such as Bash), for instance, you can do this with the following commands:

export CRYSTAL

From a C-shell or compatible (such as T-csh), you can use:

setenv CRYSTAL /site/sdk

The ‘cs-config’ Script

When you build and install Crystal Space, a script named ‘cs-config’ is installed along with the rest of the package. This script provides access to bits of information which can be fed to the development tools in order to incorporate Crystal Space into your project. For instance, if you invoke ‘cs-config’ with the ‘--cxxflags’ argument, it will return Crystal Space-specific C++ compiler switches with which you should invoke the C++ compiler. Likewise, the ‘--libs’ argument will return the Crystal Space-specific linker switches and libraries with which you should link your program.

For best results, be sure that the installation location of ‘cs-config’ is mentioned by your ‘PATH’ environment variable. The default location, ‘/usr/local/bin’, normally is mentioned by ‘PATH’, so you likely will not have to do anything special to make ‘cs-config’ available.


The Jamtemplate utility sets up a skeleton project on your behalf which is based upon Autoconf and the Jam build system featured in Crystal Space. By utilizing these tools, your project gets many advanced build features for free. For instance, on MacOS/X, it will correctly create the Cocoa wrapper (‘.app’) for an application; on some platforms it knows how to embed plugin meta-information directly into the plugin module; and understands many of the familiar build targets, such as ‘all’, ‘clean’, ‘distclean’, ‘install’, etc. The Jam system knows how to build applications, plugin modules, and libraries on all platforms supported by Crystal Space. The generated project skeleton even features support for generating Microsoft Visual C++ project files for your application automatically (via the ‘jam msvcgen’ target).

Jamtemplate is quite easy to use. After setting up your ‘CRYSTAL’ environment variable, go to the directory under which you would like to create the new project, run the ‘createproject.sh’ script, and follow the instructions which it presents. If you have installed the Crystal Space SDK (via ‘make install’ or ‘jam install’), then the script will reside at:


where ${prefix} is the package installation location (typically, ‘/usr/local’). Alternately, you may run the script directly from the Crystal Space source tree, where it resides at:



If you prefer to have your project utilize a traditional Makefile, rather than being based upon the Crystal Space Jam build system, then follow these intructions. Note, however, that the skeleton Makefile-based build system created by these instructions is bare-bones; it does not feature the fancy bells and whistles available with the Jam build system.

To begin, locate the files ‘Makefile.template’ and ‘appwrap.sh’. If you have installed the Crystal Space SDK (via ‘make install’ or ‘jam install’), then thes files will reside at:


where ${prefix} is the package installation location (typically, ‘/usr/local’). Alternately, you may access the files directly from the Crystal Space source tree, where they resides at:


Copy these files to the directory where your project is located and rename ‘Makefile.template’ to ‘Makefile’. The ‘appwrap.sh’ script creates Cocoa application wrappers on MacOS/X. You may omit this file if you do not plan to support MacOS/X.

You need to edit ‘Makefile’ for your own project. This template makefile is capable of building an executable program or a plugin module. It is recommended that you change at least the following variables:

The following targets are supported by this makefile:

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