Downloading SOFA

You can get SOFA by cloning the Git repository hosted on InriaForge.

Get the current stable version on the v15.12 branch:
git clone -b v15.12 git://

Or get the development unstable version on the master branch:
git clone -b master git://

Supported platforms

SOFA runs on Linux, OS X and Windows systems, either 32-bit or 64-bit. It is written in C++98, and should compile fine with the following compilers:

  • g++ 4.0 or higher
  • VC8 or following (i.e. Visual Studio 2005 and newer)
  • clang 3.4 or higher

For reference, the following configurations are continously tested on a continuous integration platform:

  • Ubuntu 14.04 with GCC 4.6 and 4.8
  • Windows 7 with Microsoft Visual Studio 2012
  • OS X with clang 3.4

Besides, SOFA is known to run just as fine on other GNU/Linux distributions (Fedora, CentOS, Arch Linux).


SOFA uses the CMake build system, and requires at least version 2.8.8.

CMake supports out of source builds (aka shadow builds), which means that all the files created during the build process will end up in a specific directory, rather than piling up in your source directory. This keeps the source directory clean, and allows you to have multiple builds for the same source tree (e.g. a debug and a release build).


If you work on Linux or OS X, we advise you to use ccache. 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.”

It is by no means mandatory, but it will dramatically improve the compilation time if you make changes to SOFA.

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