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Ubuntu (Debian, Mint, and similar) Build Instructions

On various Linux distributions, you must build OpenVSP yourself. Here is a quick guide that should make this easier.

Instructions for Ubuntu 14.04

First, you need to make sure your computer has all the required compilers, build tools, and libraries. Use apt get or your favorite package manager to install them. Here is a list of required package names for Ubuntu 14.04:

  • g++
  • cmake
  • git
  • git-gui
  • libxml2-dev
  • libfltk1.3-dev
  • libcpptest-dev
  • libjpeg-dev
  • libglm-dev
  • libeigen3-dev
  • libcminpack-dev
  • libglew-dev

Once you're done installing those, you need to set up a place to hold the source repository and the build files. You then need to use git to download the OpenVSP source. Use the command prompt, starting from your favorite directory:

mkdir OpenVSP; cd OpenVSP

mkdir build

mkdir repo

git clone repo

cd build

Now you can use CMake to set up the build files – instructing the OpenVSP build to use all those libraries from the system. CMake will set up any non-system libraries to build, and the OpenVSP build will know where everything is.

-DVSP_USE_SYSTEM_CMINPACK=true ../repo/SuperProject

This will print out a lot of messages, please report any errors to the Google Group for help.

We recently added a requirement for a *very* recent version of CMake (in src/vsp_aero/solver), but this is really only required for Windows builds. Since your Linux distribution is unlikely to package such a new CMake, you may need to modify that CMake file.

Once CMake completes without error, you can proceed to build everything. This will take a while.


There will be some warnings, but it should complete without errors. If there are errors, please report them to the Google Group for help.

The build process leaves all the various executable files scattered around the build system. If you want to collect them all together in a zip file like you would download from the website, you can do that too.

make package

Instructions for Ubuntu 16.04

The following is a walkthrough of Ubuntu 16.04 (with Python 2.7) installation:

1. First install all required packages:

sudo apt-get install git git-gui cmake libxml2-dev libfltk1.3-dev g++ libcpptest-dev libjpeg-dev libglm-dev libeigen3-dev libcminpack-dev libglew-dev swig

2. Make main directory and clone OpenVSP source:

mkdir OpenVSP

cd OpenVSP

mkdir repo build buildlibs

git clone repo

3. A working method for 16.04 is to set up the the libraries separately. To prepare the build files use the following:

cd buildlibs


4. Build the libraries:

make -j8

5. Set up and build OpenVSP:

cd ../build

cmake ../repo/src/ -DVSP_LIBRARY_PATH=/your/path/to/buildlibs -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release

make -j8

6. Make joint folder with executives:

make package

*** If the previous step fails it might be because of the following reasons:

a) Cmake uses Python3 instead of Python2 - if so, change references of Python3.* in CMakeCache.txt to the default version the systems uses. (e.g Python 2.7)

You can check the default version with:

python --version

You can check the default path with:

which python

b) Cmake can't find Fluid. To check this you can search in your CMakeCache.txt to see if it has the wrong path to Fluid or no path at all. - To fix this: find Fluid executive directory and add its path to CMakeCache.txt so it would say: [/your/path/to/fluid/; fluid]

After corrected the errors, clean the build directory and redo step 5.

ubuntu_instructions.txt · Last modified: 2017/08/31 09:18 by msimon