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The requirements for Freeciv and the platforms it's been reported successfully installed on. Note that GNU/Linux and Sun Solaris are the primary target platforms. Freeciv has not officially been tested on the other platforms. Note also that many OS distributors provide pre-packaged, ready-to-use distributions of Freeciv, and some more are available in our Download section.

Specific compiling requirements Platforms reported to work


  1. ANSI C compiler (gcc 2.95 or higher will do)
  2. make


  1. The X Window System
  2. Xaw/Xaw3d and Xpm (3.4k) -or-
    Glib (1.2.6), GTK+ (1.2.6) and Imlib (1.9.7)


  1. A Unix environment (Cygnus, msys).
  2. MinGW runtime libraries
  3. Windows API libraries
(All of these packages can be found at mingw or cygwin)


  1. A Unix environment (Cygnus).

Packages which satisfy some of these requirements can be found on the download server.

based on X:

without X:

For more info about installing refer to the INSTALL file, included in the Freeciv distribution.

The SVN snapshots may have additional requirements for building; you need to use the flag ./configure --disable-auto-deps if your make isn't GNU make, and ./configure --disable-nls if you do not have a full gettext installation.

Follow these 4 steps and you will be playing Freeciv in no time!


Windows users, see Install-Windows instructions.
MacOSX users, see Install-MacOSX instructions.

Install the software on your local computer:

  • If you downloaded a precompiled binary package for your platform, install it using the method of the packaging system.
  • If you downloaded the source code, unpack and compile it. On Unix-like systems, this can be done as follows:
    1. Change to the directory where you want to perform the installation work; /tmp is often a good choice.
    2. Unpack the file you downloaded (see unzipping). The files are put into a subdirectory; cd into it.
    3. If you're too impatient to read and follow the INSTALL and other documentation to be found there, try the command
      ./configure && make install
      and hope for the best. However, you will probably need to pass some options to ./configure, call gmake instead of make, or install some auxiliary software packages first.
  • For example to install freeciv 2.3.3 from source on a freshly installed 32 bit debian squeezy (with ati video hardware acceleration installed automatically by default), you could do this:


  1. using default /etc/apt/sources.list
  1. be sure have root terminal!
  1. update apt to get latest versions possible

apt-get update

  1. requirements:

apt-get install build-essential zlib1g-dev gtk+2.0 autoconf libpangomm-1.4-dev libpng++-dev libiconv-hook-dev libimlib2-dev libgd2-xpm-dev libglib2.0-dev automake pkg-config libatk1.0-dev

  1. go somewhere safe

cd /home mkdir freeciv cd freeciv

  1. get fonts:

wget tar jxfv cjk_fonts.tar.bz2 rm cjk_fonts.tar.bz2 rm COPYING.* mkdir /usr/share/fonts/truetype/freeciv cp *.ttf /usr/share/fonts/truetype/freeciv rm *.ttf

  1. reload fonts:

fc-cache -fv

  1. get freeciv itself:

wget tar jxfv freeciv-2.3.3.tar.bz2 rm freeciv-2.3.3.tar.bz2 cd freeciv-2.3.3

  1. compile:

./configure make make install

  1. clean up

cd /home rm -f -r freeciv

  1. Check under Applications, Games, Freeciv to start freeciv.
  2. or, start from any non-root terminal with command:
  3. freeciv-gtk2

Package requirements by distro:


  • libgdk_pixbuf2.0_0-devel
  • libpango1.0-devel
  • libatk-10._0-devel
  • libgtk_2.0_0-devel

CentOS/RHEL 5:

  • gtk2-devel

Start the clientEdit

Start the client by executing the command freeciv-gtk2 (or whatever GUI Freeciv is built against).

This must be done from your GUI (X) interface. If you installed a precompiled package, it may provide a shortcut in the form of a Freeciv icon or something similar. A dialog window appears with the following alternatives:
  • Start New Game lets you start and customize a new game and launch a server to host the game.
  • Start Scenario Game lets you play one of the scenarios which are available.
  • Load Saved Game allows you to continue playing on a saved game.
  • Connect to Network Game gives the possibility to search for a server using an Internet Metaserver or search for a server on your Local Area Network. Internet Metaserver allows you to select one of the current available servers elsewhere on the net. Searching for servers on your Local Area Network uses multicast to locate other Freeciv servers, and will not detect servers properly if your server is behind a firewall. If the server is in Pregame state, it still accepts new players. If the game has already started, you can only connect as an existing player.

Start the gameEdit

If you play alone, on your own server:Edit
  • To play with 4 computer players, type set aifill 5 on the server prompt.
  • On the server prompt, type start to start the game.
  • Change back to the client window and pick your nation.
If you play with others:Edit
  • On the server prompt, you can issue the command cmdlevel ctrl so clients are allowed to give server commands.
  • In the client window, you can type /start. You may want to wait for players and discuss the setup with them first.
  • Pick your nation and wait for others to pick theirs. If you leave now, you will be removed from the game.
  • If someone won't or can't pick a nation (use the /list command to find out), you can /ai them or /cut them from the game altogether.

More details and options can be found elsewhere on the site.

Now that you've gotten it running, you'll want to play your first few games. It is recommended that you try playing solitaire a few times, so that you can get a feel for how things work, but this is not necessary. You can learn by playing with others as well.

Get Started: About | Screenshots | Download | Install | edit

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