Compile ECWolf on Linux

From ECWolf Wiki
Revision as of 14:03, 15 September 2019 by Skyrimguy (talk | contribs)

This guide will demonstrate how to compile the Git version of ECWolf on Linux.

Install dependencies

The following programs/libraries are used by ECWolf. The versions listed below are known to work, however other versions may work.

In addition to the above, the following are optional dependencies.

Git is also needed to checkout a copy of the latest source.

Install the following as root/superuser:


sudo apt-get install g++ make cmake libsdl2-dev libsdl2-mixer-dev libsdl2-net-dev \
git zlib1g-dev libbz2-dev libjpeg-dev libgtk2.0-dev libsdl1.2-dev libsdl-mixer1.2-dev \


dnf install gcc-c++ make cmake SDL2-devel SDL2_mixer-devel SDL2_net-devel git \
zlib-devel bzip2-devel libjpeg-turbo-devel gtk2-devel SDL-devel SDL_mixer-devel \


zypper install gcc-c++ make cmake libSDL2-devel libSDL2_mixer-devel libSDL2_net-devel \
git zlib-devel libbz2-devel libjpeg-devel gtk2-devel libSDL-devel libSDL_mixer-devel \


a='' && [ "$(uname -m)" = x86_64 ] && a=64
urpmi gcc-c++ make cmake lib${a}sdl2.0-devel lib{a}sdl2_mixer-devel \
lib{a}sdl2_net-devel git lib${a}zlib-devel lib${a}bzip2-devel \
lib${a}jpeg-devel lib${a}gtk+2.0-devel lib${a}cairo-devel lib${a}SDL-devel \
lib${a}SDL_mixer-devel lib${a}SDL_net-devel

Arch Linux

pacman -S --needed gcc make cmake sdl2 sdl2_mixer sdl2_net git \
zlib bzip2 libjpeg-turbo gtk2 sdl sdl_mixer sdl_net


emerge -avn sys-devel/gcc sys-devel/make dev-util/cmake media-libs/libsdl2 \
media-libs/sdl2-mixer media-libs/sdl2-net dev-vcs/git sys-libs/zlib \
app-arch/bzip2 media-libs/libjpeg-turbo x11-libs/gtk+ media-libs/libsdl \
media-libs/sdl-mixer media-libs/sdl-net


a='' && [ "$(uname -m)" = x86_64 ] && a=64
apt-get install gcc-c++ make cmake lib${a}sdl2.0-devel lib{a}sdl2_mixer-devel \
lib{a}sdl2_net-devel git zlib1-devel lib${a}bzip2-devel lib${a}jpeg62-devel \
lib${a}gtk+2.0_0-devel lib${a}SDL-devel lib${a}SDL_mixer-devel lib${a}SDL_net-devel


sudo eopkg install g++ make cmake binutils glibc-devel pkg-config \
sdl2-devel sdl2-mixer-devel sdl2-net-devel git zlib-devel \
bzip2-devel libjpeg-turbo-devel libgtk-2-devel sdl1-devel \
sdl1-mixer-devel sdl1-net-devel

Do the following sections as normal user.

Create ecwolf_build directory

mkdir -pv ~/ecwolf_build

Download and prepare the source

Use Git to download the ECWolf source:

cd ~/ecwolf_build
git clone

and create an out of tree build directory in the newly created ecwolf directory:

mkdir -pv ecwolf/build


Inside the build directory, run CMake to generate a Makefile:

cd ~/ecwolf_build/ecwolf/build
cmake .. -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -DGPL=ON

Assuming there were no errors, you should be able to run make to compile:


A development version of ECWolf will be compiled if you do not do #Latest stable version.

An ecwolf binary should be produced. To start ECWolf, the following command should work:


If ECWolf complains you do not have any base game data set up, make sure that you have your Game data files placed in the same directory as ECWolf, in ~/.config/ecwolf or $PROGDIR. Alternatively, you can edit ~/.config/ecwolf/ecwolf.cfg to add the path for your game data to BaseDataPaths.

Latest stable version

Show the latest stable version:

cd ~/ecwolf_build/ecwolf &&
git tag -l | tail -1

If you want to compile the latest stable version, run:

cd ~/ecwolf_build/ecwolf &&
git checkout --detach refs/tags/$(git tag -l | tail -1)

and compile.

After compiling, backing up and optionally installing the latest stable version, run:

cd ~/ecwolf_build/ecwolf &&
git checkout master


If you want to backup ECWolf, do the following:

Create and name a directory with the corresponding ECWolf version/revision, build type and copy ecwolf and ecwolf.pk3 to it:

cd ~/ecwolf_build/ecwolf/build &&
if [ -f CMakeCache.txt ]; then
k="$(sed -n 's/.*CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE:STRING=\(.*\)/\1/p' CMakeCache.txt)"; else k=''; fi &&
if [ -n "$k" ]; then b="-BuildType$k"; else b=''; fi &&
BACKUPECWOLF="../../$(sed -n 's/.*#define GIT_DESCRIPTION "\(.*\)".*/\1/p' src/gitinfo.h)$b" &&
mkdir -pv "$BACKUPECWOLF" &&
cp -v ecwolf ecwolf.pk3 "$BACKUPECWOLF"/

Files are located at:

/home/<your username>/ecwolf_build/<your newly created directory>


When you wish to update ECWolf, copy and paste the following:

cd ~/ecwolf_build/ecwolf &&
git pull

When the update finish, go to #Compiling.


  • ecwolf = Stable version
  • ecwolf-alpha = Development version

Commands beginning with "sudo" will require temporary superuser privileges.

If you want to install ECWolf, do the following:

Create /usr/games/ecwolf and /usr/games/ecwolf-alpha directories:

sudo mkdir -pv /usr/games/ecwolf /usr/games/ecwolf-alpha

Copy ecwolf and ecwolf.pk3 to /usr/games/ecwolf/ or /usr/games/ecwolf-alpha/:

cd ~/ecwolf_build/ecwolf/build &&
h="$(sed -n 's/.*#define GIT_HASH "\(.*\)".*/\1/p' src/gitinfo.h)" &&
if [ -z "$(git describe --exact-match --tags $h 2>/dev/null)" ]; then
d=-alpha; else d=''; fi &&
sudo cp -v ecwolf ecwolf.pk3 /usr/games/ecwolf$d/

Create launch script:

cd ~/ecwolf_build/ecwolf/build &&
h="$(sed -n 's/.*#define GIT_HASH "\(.*\)".*/\1/p' src/gitinfo.h)" &&
if [ -z "$(git describe --exact-match --tags $h 2>/dev/null)" ]; then
d=-alpha; else d=''; fi &&
printf %s "\
#! /bin/sh
exec /usr/games/ecwolf$d/ecwolf \"\$@\"
" > ecwolf$ &&
chmod 755 ecwolf$ &&
sudo mv -v ecwolf$ /usr/bin/ecwolf$d

Now from a terminal you should be able to run ecwolf or ecwolf-alpha from any user account.


Remove /usr/games/ecwolf directory and all its files:

sudo rm -rfv /usr/games/ecwolf

Remove ecwolf script:

sudo rm -fv /usr/bin/ecwolf

Remove /usr/games/ecwolf-alpha directory and all its files:

sudo rm -rfv /usr/games/ecwolf-alpha

Remove ecwolf-alpha script:

sudo rm -fv /usr/bin/ecwolf-alpha


This page has helped you compile ECWolf, but perhaps you are interested in debugging the code or submitting code changes or fixes for inclusion. This section is intended for more advanced users who may be unfamiliar to CMake or debugging on Linux systems.



Maybe you have found a way to make ECWolf crash, and are interested in debugging it. First, you need to compile a debug build of ECWolf. Inside the build directory, invoke CMake to set up for compiling, but this time, the build type is set to Debug:

cd ~/ecwolf_build/ecwolf/build
cmake .. -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug

Optionally, you may want to use some of the #Build options.

After CMake is done, run "make" or to speed up compilation, run "make -j<number>", a recommended value for the "-j" option is the number of physical cores:


To run ECWolf under a debugger such as gdb, use the following command:

gdb ecwolf

Now gdb should have you in its own command prompt:


You probably want to log the output, so lets output to a file ecwolfdebug.log:

(gdb) set logging on ecwolfdebug.log

Now start ECWolf by typing in run, and pressing enter:

(gdb) run

Or put any command line parameters to ecwolf after run:

(gdb) run <command line parameters>

To see the available command line parameters for ECWolf, type "run --help" and press enter.

If ECWolf crashes, gdb may be able to tell you the source file and line number it crashed in. Typing in the command backtrace or bt will produce information telling the last function calls, showing how execution got to the point where it crashed:

(gdb) backtrace

All output will be copied into the ecwolfdebug.log, which can then be scrutinized later, or perhaps posted to the Bug Tracker for other developers to look at.

To exit gdb's command prompt, type quit, q or press Ctrl-D:

(gdb) quit

If you want to free up space, run "make clean" to remove the files generated by the compilation.

Build options

CMake options
Options Description Example
GPL=ON Switch ECWolf's default original non-commercial license to GNU GPL. OPL emulator is changed from MAME's to the one from Dosbox. cmake .. -DGPL=ON
USE_LIBTEXTSCREEN=ON Use libtextscreen IWAD picker. Only available in the GPL edition. cmake .. -DGPL=ON -DUSE_LIBTEXTSCREEN=ON
NO_GTK=ON Disable GTK+ IWAD picker. cmake .. -DNO_GTK=ON
CMake build types
Types Description Example
Debug Debug information, -O1 optimization. cmake .. -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug
Release No debug information, -O3 optimization. cmake .. -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release
RelWithDebInfo Debug information, -O2 optimization. Useful for finding optimization bugs that only show up in Release. cmake .. -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=RelWithDebInfo
MinSizeRel Similar to Release but with less optimizations in order to save space. cmake .. -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=MinSizeRel