Linux Development

From Armagetron

Sections: Installing the Game | Playing the Game | Competition Hub | Server Administration | Extending Armagetron Advanced | Development Docs

This guide assumes you're familiar with the linux console. All commands listed here are supposed to be entered there. For system andministration tasks, you have to be logged in as the superuser 'root'. (K/X)Ubuntu users generally need to prepend a 'sudo' in front of all system administration commands or sign in via 'sudo bash'.

Install Development Environment and Dependencies

The method differs from distribution to distribution. Required for all builds are:

* The compiler gcc/g++ and its libraries
* Python
* the library libxml2

For 0.2.8 client builds, you need development files for

* OpenGL
* SDL_image
* libpng

For trunk builds, you need

* boost
* protobuf 

For trunk/0.4 client builds, you'll also need

* SDL_mixer
* freetype
* ftgl
* GLEW (optional right now)

Also optional, but recommended for 0.4 are the SDL2 libraries

* SDL2
* SDL2_mixer
* SDL2_image

If you pick those, the SDL1 versions can be skipped.

Remove what you don't need from the one-line instructions below.


To get all of this at once, enter at the console

sudo apt-get install bison make automake g++ python3 libxml2-dev libsdl1.2-dev libsdl-image1.2-dev libsdl-mixer1.2-dev libsdl2-dev libsdl2-image-dev libsdl2-mixer-dev libfreetype6-dev libftgl-dev libglew-dev libpng-dev libboost-dev libprotobuf-dev protobuf-compiler libboost-thread-dev libzthread-dev

Tested with Ubuntu 22.04. For earlier versions, you may need to replace python3 with python. libzthread-dev is optional. For trunk builds only, you no longer need libzthread-dev and the libsdl1.2 libraries.


Should be identical to Ubuntu, but without the sudo, and instead you need to be logged in as root.

Fedora/Red Hat

yum install gcc-c++ automake libxml2-devel SDL-devel SDL_image-devel SDL_mixer-devel SDL2-devel SDL2_image-devel SDL2_mixer-devel freetype-devel ftgl-devel glew-devel python boost-devel protobuf-devel

Yay for sane package names.


To get all of this at once (minus python and g++, which are installed by default), enter at the console

emerge libxml2 libsdl sdl-image sdl-mixer freetype ftgl glew libpng boost

Boost takes a long time to build, so you may want to omit it if you don't need it.

(Missing: protobuf and the sdl2 libs. Task for the reader: find out what it is named and add it.)


Enter at the console (as root)

pacman -S python2 gcc automake autoconf libxml2 sdl sdl_image sdl_mixer sdl2 sdl2_image sdl2_mixer ftgl glew boost protobuf

(Note: some things may be missing, I only tested it with an installation where the base development packages were pre-installed.)

Get Sources

From a distribution

Well, you download a release source tarball (.tar.gz, .tar.bz2, .tbz or .tgz file extension) from the main site or development snapshots download portal. Then you unpack it with either

tar -xzf <name of tarball plus extension>

if the extension was a .tar.gz or .tgz, resp.

tar -xjf <name of tarball plus extension>

if the extension was a .tar.bz2 or .tbz. Either way, you'll get a shiny new directory called armagetronad-<version>. That's the source.

No bootstrap is required here.

From git

If you're a developer and intend to do some hacking, don't just grab the source, fork it directly and make it your own! We're present on GitLab and GitHub, GitLab being preferred because that's where the list of issues and CI builds currently are.

Clone the repository with

git clone

That will default to trunk; to get 0.2.9, do

git -C armagetronad checkout legacy_0.2.9

or for 0.2.8

git -C armagetronad checkout legacy_0.2.8.3

Then you continue with the bootstrap process.

From BZR

Get the latest 0.2.9 source with

bzr branch lp:armagetronad/0.2.9 armagetronad

and the trunk (0.4) with

bzr branch lp:armagetronad

and the latest legacy 0.2.8

bzr branch lp:~armagetronad-dev/armagetronad/ armagetronad

Then you continue with the bootstrap process.


First, more installation to do. You'll need the autotools for this step. So enter

X automake autoconf

where X is "sudo apt-get install" for Ubuntu, "apt-get install" for Debian, "emerge" for Gentoo and "yum install" for Fedora. You need root rights for all but Ubuntu.

The SVN/BZR processes should have left you with a source checkout in the directory named "armagetronad". Do

cd armagetronad
cd ..

to generate some files that are not kept in the source repository because they can be automatically generated in that way. Typically, you don't have to repeat this step after you update the source via "svn update" or "bzr pull" or any other way, the build system will take care of that.

Building and Installing

We're using autotools. That means that if you have build any other software on Linux before, there won't be any surprises. You don't need root rights for all but the installation step.


Make a new directory for your build and enter it:

mkdir build
cd build

From there, call the configure script in the source directory:

../<name of source directory>/configure

If you intend to build a server, pass it the --disable-glout flag:

../<name of source directory>/configure --disable-glout




We require gmake specifically. If the above command spews out tons of errors, try calling gmake directly:


and replace make by gmake in the subsequent commands as well.



make run

This lets the game/server run from the current directory. It won't destroy your regular configuration that way in case something is borked.



make install


If you want to distribute the current source from a bzr/svn checkout or a patched source tree, enter your build directory and type

make distcheck
make dist

This takes a while. It tests whether everything is in order (for example, whether the source tarball that is about to be created works and contains all required material). After it's done, you'll find a new file called armagetronad-<version>.tar.gz in your build directory. That's your redistributable source.