Compiling Minetest

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This page is about compiling Minetest for desktop platforms. For compiling Minetest for Android, see Android.


Compiling on GNU/Linux

Triple-click to select a whole line. Use Ctrl + Shift + V to paste in a terminal.

Install dependencies. Here's an example for Debian-based and Ubuntu-based distributions:

apt-get install build-essential cmake git libirrlicht-dev libbz2-dev libgettextpo-dev
libfreetype6-dev libpng12-dev libjpeg8-dev libxxf86vm-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libsqlite3-dev
libogg-dev libvorbis-dev libopenal-dev libhiredis-dev libcurl3-dev

Download engine:

git clone
cd minetest/

Download Minetest Game (otherwise only the "Minimal development test" game is available)

cd games/
git clone
cd ../

Build the game (the make command is set to automatically detect the number of CPU threads to use):

make -j$(grep -c processor /proc/cpuinfo)

Run it:

cd bin/
  • Use cmake . -LH to see all CMake options and their current state.
  • If you want to place user data in the same directory as the Minetest build (good for putting on removable media), you will want to use -DRUN_IN_PLACE=1.
  • You can build a bare server or a bare client by specifying -DBUILD_CLIENT=0 or -DBUILD_SERVER=0.
  • You can select between a Release and Debug build by -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=<Debug or Release>.
  • Debug build is slower, but gives much more useful output in a debugger.

Building without Irrlicht / X dependency

You can build the Minetest server without library dependencies to Irrlicht or any graphical stuff. You still need the Irrlicht headers for this, so first, download the irrlicht source to somewhere.

When invoking CMake, use -DBUILD_CLIENT=0 -DIRRLICHT_SOURCE_DIR=/wherever/you/unzipped/the/source.

See also

Compiling on Windows


or build a more recent version yourself [4]
  • libvorbis
  • libvorbisfile
headers: libvorbis/include
  • libogg
  • I don't want to download these libraries
MSVC pre-compiled libraries (32-bit)
Library for UI text translations.
For additional execution speed of mods, may have noticeable memory limits.
Support for TTF fonts (recommended)


   - Select a directory called DIR hereafter in which you will operate.
   - Make sure you have CMake and a compiler (MinGW or MSVC) installed.
   - Download all other libraries and extract them into your DIR.
     ("extract here", not "extract to packagename/")
Note: needs to be extracted into zlib125dll

   - All those packages contain a nice base directory in them, which
     should end up being the direct subdirectories of DIR.
   - You will end up with a directory structure like this (+ dir, - file):
   + DIR
       - oalinst.exe
       - zlib-1.2.5.tar.gz
       - (or whatever, this is the minetest source)
       + gettext (optional, for multi language)
           + bin
           + include
           + lib
       + irrlicht-1.8.1
           + lib
           + include
           + lib
           + include
           + lib
           + include
       + minetest
           + src
           + doc
           - CMakeLists.txt
       + minetest-build
       + zlib-1.2.5
           - zlib.h
           + win32
       + zlib125dll
           - readme.txt
           + dll32
   - Start up the CMake GUI
   - Select "Browse Source..." and select DIR/minetest
   - Now, if using MSVC:
       - Select "Browse Build..." and select DIR/minetest-build
   - Else if using MinGW:
       - Select "Browse Build..." and select DIR/minetest
   - Select "Configure"
   - Select your compiler
   - It will warn about missing stuff, ignore that at this point. (later don't)
   - Make sure the configuration is as follows
     (note that the versions may differ for you):
   BUILD_CLIENT               [X]
   BUILD_SERVER               [ ]
   CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE           Release
   CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX       DIR/minetest-install
   RUN_IN_PLACE               [X]
   WARN_ALL                   [ ]
   GETTEXT_BIN_DIR            DIR/gettext/bin
   GETTEXT_INCLUDE_DIR        DIR/gettext/include
   GETTEXT_LIBRARIES          DIR/gettext/lib/libintl.lib
   IRRLICHT_SOURCE_DIR        DIR/irrlicht-1.8.1
   IRRLICHT_LIBRARY           DIR/irrlicht-1.8.1/lib/?/Irrlicht.lib
   OGG_INCLUDE_DIR            DIR/libogg-1.3.1/include
   OGG_LIBRARIES              DIR/libogg-1.3.1/?/libogg.lib
   VORBIS_INCLUDE_DIR         DIR/libvorbis-1.3.3/include
   VORBIS_LIBRARY             DIR/libvorbis-1.3.3/?/libvorbis.lib
   VORBISFILE_INCLUDE_DIR     DIR/libvorbis-1.3.3/include
   VORBISFILE_LIBRARY         DIR/libvorbis-1.3.3/?/libvorbisfile.lib
   OPENAL_INCLUDE_DIR         %programfiles%\OpenAL\include
   OPENAL_LIBRARY             %programfiles%\OpenAL\lib\OpenAL32.lib
   ZLIB_DLL                   DIR/zlib125dll/dll32/zlibwapi.dll
   ZLIB_INCLUDE_DIR           DIR/zlib-1.2.5
   ZLIB_LIBRARIES             DIR/zlib125dll/dll32/zlibwapi.lib
   - See also: Differently explained CMake setup
   - Hit "Configure", two times 8)
   - If something is still coloured red, you have a problem.
   - Hit "Generate"
   If using MSVC:
       - Open the generated minetest.sln
       - Switch the configuration from "Debug" to "Release", unless you want to 
       debug some stuff (it's slower and might not even work at all)
       - Build the ALL_BUILD project
       - Build the INSTALL project
       You may want to use console commands to compile Minetest:
           - Find MSBuild.exe in %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v?.?.?\MSBuild.exe
           - Add the path to your system PATH variable
           - Compile Minetest by switching to your DIR\minetest-build
               MSBuild.exe ALL_BUILD.vcxproj /p:Configuration=Release
       - You should now have a working game with the executable in
       - Additionally you may create a zip package by building the PACKAGE
   If using MinGW:
       - Using the command line, browse to the build directory and run 'make'
         (or mingw32-make or whatever it happens to be)
       - You may need to copy some of the downloaded DLLs into bin/, see what
         running the produced executable tells you it doesn't have.
       - You should now have a working game with the executable in


To compile a win32 version of Minetest in Linux with MinGW you can use the build script in utils/buildbot/

Full Windows build

Build Win32 Minetest including all required libraries

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