There is no official support for compiling or operating self-compiled viewers. There may be unofficial support as listed at the bottom of this page.
These instructions only apply to Firestorm version 5.1 and above. For older versions, please see this page.

This procedure is used for building a 64-bit viewer on 64-bit Debian systems and was tested and verified on Debian 9.3. This procedure assumes that your system has been properly updated.

This procedure may not work on older versions of Debian, nor has it been tested on any other version of Debian or any other distribution/variant/derivative.

The build process requires at least 4GB RAM with swap, a modern dual-core CPU and 32GB available HDD space. Recommded 8GB or more RAM, quad-core CPU and 32GB available HDD space.

Establish your programming environment

This is needed for compiling any viewer based on the LL open source code and only needs to be done once.

Install Required Tools

The required tools, some of which may already be installed, are:

make | cmake | g++ | gdb | mercurial (for hg) | python2.7 | python-pip

sudo apt-get upgrade # to make sure all installed packages are current
sudo apt-get install --install-recommends make cmake g++ gdb mercurial python2.7 python-pip

(the –install-recommends flag tells apt-get to install all packages recommended by each named package.)

Install Required Libraries

These libraries may be included with your distribution, and some may already be installed: (libgl1-mesa-dev) (libglu1-mesa-dev) (libstdc++6) (libx11-dev) libxinerama-dev (libxml2-dev) (libxrender-dev)
sudo apt-get install --install-recommends libgl1-mesa-dev libglu1-mesa-dev libstdc++6 libx11-dev libxinerama-dev libxml2-dev libxrender-dev

Install Autobuild

Autobuild is a Linden Lab resource that does all the hard work. Firestorm 5.1 uses a stock, unmodified version of autobuild from Linden Lab, version 1.1 or above.

sudo pip install --upgrade pip
sudo pip install autobuild

This will install autobuild and add a link in the exec path.

Set up your source code tree

Plan your directory structure ahead of time. If you are going to be producing changes or patches you will be cloning a copy of an unaltered source code tree for every change or patch you make, so you might want to have all this work stored in its own directory. If you are a casual compiler and won't be producing any changes, you can use one directory. For this document, I will assume ~/src.

cd ~/src

There are several repositories but the one wea re after is the development repository. You can grab all the sources if you wish, but but keep in mind that each FS source requires around 110MB initially and around 4.3GB after the binaries have been built, plus possible compiling overhead.

hg clone

It will create a folder called phoenix-firestorm-lgpl. You can optionally add a folder name to the end of the hg clone command and it will use that as the destination directory name:

hg clone firestorm-source

The rest of this document will assume the default directory, phoenix-firestorm-lgpl

This can take a bit, it's a rather large download. On a slow network, it may fail, and this script can help mitigate the issue:
cd ~/src
hg clone -r 10000
cd phoenix-firestorm-lgpl
for i in {15000..40000..5000}
	echo "Grabbing to change $i"
	hg pull -u -r $i
echo "Grabbing to tip"
hg pull -u
cd ~/src

Set up autobuild build variables

Autobuild 1.1 uses a separate file to control compiler options, switches, and the like for different configurations. Ansariel Hiller maintains a Firestorm-specific version of this file and an associated convenience script. You will want to put this near your source code tree. The rest of these instructions will assume you put it in the source tree at the same level as your main source repository, using the default name.

cd ~src
hg clone

Preparing to configure and build

Autobuild 1.1 uses a series of environment variables to control the build process. The fs-build-variables reposirory includes a convenience script to set them. You will need to perform this step in any new shell window that you are going to run autobuild in.

cd ~/src/phoenix-firestorm-lgpl
export AUTOBUILD_VARIABLES_FILE=$HOME/src/fs-build-variables/variables

Configuring the Viewer

Unlike previous versions of autobuild, version 1.1 requires the address size switch (-A) after the command, not before it. If you want a 32-bit build, you must specify that; there is no longer a default.

cd ~/src/phoenix-firestorm-lgpl
autobuild configure -A 64 -c ReleaseFS_open

This will set up to compile with all defaults and without non-default libraries. It will fetch any additional necessary libraries.

Configuration Switches

There are a number of switches you can use to modify the configuration process. The name of each switch is followed by its type and then by the value you want to set.

  • LL_TESTS (bool) controls if the tests are compiled and run. There are quite a lot of them so excluding them is recommended unless you have some reason to need one or
    more of them.
  • clean will cause autobuild to remove any previously compiled objects and fetched packages. It can be useful if you need to force a reload of all packages
  • package will result in a bzip2 archive of the completed viewer. Enabled by default, you would have to use -DPACKAGE:BOOL=Off to disable it

TIP: OFF and NO are the same as FALSE; anything else is considered to be TRUE


autobuild configure -A 64 -c ReleaseFS_open -- --clean -DLL_TESTS:BOOL=FALSE
autobuild configure -A 64 -c ReleaseFS_open -- --clean
autobuild configure -A 64 -c ReleaseFS_open -- --chan="MyBuild"

In the last example, the channel and resulting viewer name would be “Firestorm-MyBuild”.

The first time you configure, several additional files will be downloaded from Firestorm and Second Life sources. These are mostly binary packages maintained outisde the viewer development itself. And if you use the –clean switch, you will re-download them all.

Compiling the Viewer

autobuild build -A 64 -c ReleaseFS_open

Now, sit back, read War and Peace, calculate PI to 50 places, tour the country, whatever you desire. Compiling can take quite a bit of time depending on your computer's processing power.

NOTE: It is possible to use autobuild to do both the configure step (only needed once) and the build step with one command (autobuild build -A 64 -c ReleaseFS_open [– switches] . For clarity, they are mentioned separately.

Running your newly built viewer

Running from a menu item

Create the desktop launcher

cd ~/src/phoenix-firestorm-lgpl/build-linux-x86_64/newview/packaged/etc

Then open your applications menu and look in the Internet or Network branch for the Firestorm launcher.

Running from command line or file browser

cd ~/src/phoenix-firestorm-lgpl/build-linux-x86_64/newview/packaged

"Installing" the viewer

You can copy or move the contents of ~/src/phoenix-firestorm-lgpl/build-linux-x86_64/newview/packaged to another location if you choose, and then launch firestorm from there. Example:

mkdir ~/Firestorm
cp -a ~/src/phoenix-firestorm-lgpl/build-linux-x86_64/newview/packaged/* ~/Firestorm
cd ~/Firestorm
./firestorm # or etc/ to create a desktop launcher


Handling problems

If you encounter errors or run into problems, please first double check that you followed the steps correctly. One typo can break it. Then, check whether someone else already had the same issue. A solution might be known already.

  • IRC: The #phoenixviewer-dev channel is the best place to look for solutions.
    A lot of self-compilers and project developers hang out there and are ready to help you.
  • Jira: JIRA may contain resolved tickets.
    Search using the error you encountered.
  • Included documentation: In the Firestorm root folder are several “README” documents. You should make yourself familiar with their content, even if they appear to be out of date.

If you found a procedural error in this document, please let us know in as much detail as you can, either contact the author (preferred) or discuss on IRC.

Common Issues/Bugs/Glitches And Solutions

  • Missing libraries/applications/packages This may occur if you did not or could not install the listed packages. The packages do exist in the default Debian repositories, so make sure you did not disable those. If you find that a library or application is in a different package for your system, contact the team with the name of the library or application, the name of its package and your Linux OS so that information can be checked and added here.
  • Delayed sounds Some users have noted that OpenAL plays sounds from the viewer up to 20 seconds after they are triggered. There is no solution to this via the viewer, but there may be some solutions on the Internet
  • No Sounds The viewer will try to use whatever sound service you have running, but might need a little coaxing. Read through the firestorm script inside the program folder, you will find various commended options. Uncommenting one or more may help restore sound.
  • Voice Won't Connect It was observed in testing that voice would not connect unless “No Device” was chosen for the Input device (Preferences ⇒ Sound & Media ⇒ Voice ⇒ Audio Device Settings). This was resolved by replacing Firestorm/lib/ with a copy from release.
  • fs_compiling_firestorm_alexivy_debian_9.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/08/18 15:33
  • by liny