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2.4.1 Unix

This section covers all of the Unix-style platforms supported by Crystal Space, including GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, etc.

It is also possible to install Crystal Space using packaging systems, See section Creating Crystal Space RPM's.

Crystal Space's X11 canvas optionally supports the MIT Shared Memory Extension (MIT-SHM). This makes Crystal Space run much faster if your server supports it. The Crystal Space configuration script will detect this extension automatically and use it if present.

A note of caution: Take care when obtaining the Crystal Space source code to ensure that the line-terminators are in Unix format (a single linefeed should terminate each line). This is an especially important consideration when transporting the code from Windows to Unix. Although many Unix tools deal gracefully with Windows line-terminators (a carriage-return followed by a linefeed), not all tools do so, and may emit apparently inexplicable error messages when encountering files with Windows line-terminators. The official distributions of Crystal Space, including the stable releases and the SVN snapshots, are packaged with Unix line-terminators, which are acceptable on all supported platforms. These virgin packages themselves can be transported between Windows and Unix safely

Compiling on Unix

Crystal Space can be built with either ‘make’ or Jam (see GettingJam). Both tools work equally well. In the examples below, wherever ‘jam’ is used, you can instead substitute ‘make -k’ (with the ‘-k’) if you so desire.

You first need to configure the project for your platform. You do this by running the configuration script. For example, from within the ‘CS’ directory:


If you wish to build with debugging information enabled, use this command, instead:

./configure --enable-debug

For a list of useful configuration options, invoke:

./configure --help=short

If the Crystal Space source directory is read-only, if it is shared between several developers, or if you simply dislike building a project within its source tree, you can instead configure and build from a different directory. For instance:

mkdir $HOME/builddir
cd $HOME/builddir
/path/to/CS/configure --enable-debug

Now, you can actually build the entire project:


If your machine includes a dual core processor, you can easily reduce build times by as much as half and utilize the cores better by enabling more shell processes e.g.

jam -j 2

The build process will create an executable for each demonstration program or tool, and a dynamic-load-library for each plugin module (with extension ‘.so’ on GNU/Linux and most Unix platforms). Plugin modules include 3D renderers, 2D canvases, 3D engine, etc.

Finally, if you want to utilize Crystal Space as a software development kit (SDK), you can install it and then clean up the detritus of the build process:

jam install
jam distclean

You can now try running the ‘walktest’ demonstration. See section Quick Start.

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