Prerequisites for Linux
Before building SOFA from source, make sure your configuration meets the following requirements.
SOFA requires at least GCC 4.8 or Clang 3.4. To make sure you have a correct version, execute the usual commands:
gcc --version clang --version
To get the meta-package required to compile SOFA, first execute:
sudo apt-get install cmake build-essential
CMake: Makefile generator
SOFA requires at least CMake 3.1. To get CMake, execute the usual command:
sudo apt-get install cmake cmake-qt-gui cmake-curses-gui
In case your configuration is Ubuntu 14.04 (or similar), the associated repositories only provide CMake 2.8.7. Fortunately, a more recent version of CMake is available in some PPAs, such as ppa:george-edison55/cmake-3.x
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:george-edison55/cmake-3.x sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install cmake cmake-qt-gui cmake-curses-gui
Ccache: Speed-up your compilation
If you work on Linux, we advise you to use ccache. It is by no means mandatory, but it will dramatically improve the compilation time if you make changes to SOFA. As explained on the ccache website:
"ccache is a compiler cache. It speeds up recompilation by caching previous compilations and detecting when the same compilation is being done again."
To get ccache, execute the usual command:
sudo apt-get install ccache
Finally, SOFA requires some libraries:
Qt5 libraries. The development package of Qt4 is needed:
sudo apt-get install qtbase5-dev libqt5opengl5-dev
Boost. The development package of boost is needed:
sudo apt-get install libboost-all-dev
Additional libraries: libPNG, libZ and libGlew are needed.
sudo apt-get install libpng-dev zlib1g-dev libglew-dev
Some plugins depend on libraries that are available in the repositories. You probably don’t need them all, but you might find it convenient to install them all and not worry about it later:
[optional] sudo apt-get install python2.7-dev libxml2-dev libcgal-dev libblas-dev liblapack-dev libsuitesparse-dev libassimp-dev freeglut3-dev
Building on Linux
Setting up your source and build directories
To set up clean repositories, we propose to arrange the SOFA directories as follows:
First, download the sources from Git repository:
Get the current stable version on the v16.12 branch:
git clone -b v16.12 https://github.com/sofa-framework/sofa.git sofa/v16.12/src/
Or get the development unstable version on the master branch:
git clone -b master https://github.com/sofa-framework/sofa.git sofa/master/src/
To compile the project, open a terminal, go to your sofa/ directory and type the following command to run CMake:
cd v16.12 mkdir build/ cd build/ cmake-gui ../src/
If you are not using the same file structure as the one described above, from your own build directory type instead:
You need to run Configure twice, since SOFA requires two passes to manage the module dependencies. You can then customize your version of SOFA, activate or deactivate plugins and functionalities. For the compilation in debug mode, set the CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE to DEBUG. By default, gcc is used but Clang can be prefered for a faster compilation (see the paragraph below). Once you are satisfied with the configuration you can run Generate and close cmake-gui.
Compile in the terminal
To compile in the terminal, type in the build/ directory:
You can use several cores to make the build faster. If, for example, you want to use 4 cores, write:
Time to have a coffee if you have an SSD, time to have lunch if you work on a HDD! Once built, stay in the build folder and issue the following commands to launch SOFA:
bin/runSofa (Release) or bin/runSofa_d (Debug)
Setting up QtCreator
The following instructions assume that you have set up two build directories as explained in the previous section.
In QtCreator, open project CMakeLists.txt. Choose build-release as build directory, then click on Finish. QtCreator is ready to compile, and the build configuration is named "all", though it corresponds to a Release.
Click on the Project button in the left, then rename the configuration from "all" to "Release".
Now click on add/Build to create a new configuration called "Debug". Choose build-debug as build directory and run Cmake. If you set the -G "CodeBlocks – Unix Makefiles" option in the cmake command line discussed in the previous section, you do not even need to run CMake.
You can now switch between Debug and Release in QtCreator. The compilation will be done using ccache (if installed). You can check this by setting VERBOSE=1 as additional argument to Make in the Projects tab on the left. Moreover, you probably want to run parallel compilations by setting -j10 for instance, for 10 parallel compilations, as additional argument to Make.
Clang is a new alternative to gcc. It compiles approximately two times faster !
- Ubuntu 12.04: Installing clang. Note that openmp requires a specific installation.
- Ubuntu 14.04: clang 3.4 & 3.5 are available in the default repositories.
Building cmake for SOFA using clang:
CC="clang -Qunused-arguments -fcolor-diagnostics" CXX="clang++ -Qunused-arguments -fcolor-diagnostics" cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -G "CodeBlocks - Unix Makefiles" -H/path/to/src/Sofa -B/path/to/build/dir
WARNING: clang does not compile CUDA host code, select gcc for it (i.e. set CUDA_HOST_COMPILER=/usr/bin/gcc)
Last modified: 27 January 2017