Set Up Prerequisites

Minimum requirements

The minimum prerequisites to build OGS are:

  • An 64-bit operating system (Linux, Windows 7 and up, macOS)
  • Git (version control tool, at least version 2.14)
  • CMake (build configuration tool, at least version 3.14)
  • A compiler with C++17-support
  • Conan package manager (at least version 1.21.0) OR install required libraries manually (for advanced users only!)

Step: Install a compiler

Alternative setup

Please note that the following setup on Windows is the native Windows development setup. This native setup is quite involved and heavy on system resources. We can recommend an alternative setup in which the Windows Subsystem for Linux is used: Setup and development of OGS follows the Linux way but you can use your Windows IDE (especially Visual Studio Code) for development and debugging. If this sounds interesting please follow the steps here!

As we use lots of features of the C++17-standard we support Visual Studio 2019 and up. Therefore you will need at least Windows 7 (64-bit recommended). It is perfectly fine to use the free Community Edition of Visual Studio.

  • Download and install Visual Studio Community
    • Select the workload Desktop Development with C++
    • You can uncheck everything else
  • When installation finished please start Visual Studio once (when asked for credentials enter your Microsoft account or click on Skip for now)

On Debian-based (e.g. Ubuntu) you need to install the build-essential-package (which contains the gcc-compiler and the make-tool):

You need to have at least gcc 9.0:

Install a newer compiler on Ubuntu

We recommend using Ubuntu 20.04 as its standard gcc package is already at version 9. If you are on an older Ubuntu version you can install a newer compiler from the ubuntu-toolchain-r/test-repository:

To make the newly installed compiler the default one:

If you do not do this you have to specify the compiler during the first CMake run:

Please install Xcode from the App Store. Then please run the following command in the terminal to install the command line tools:

Open Xcode one time to install some other Xcode stuff.

Now also install the Homebrew package manager:

The Homebrew package manager is needed for installing other libraries and packages. It is just like a linux package manager.

Step: Install Git

Git is a powerful and distributed version control system. OGS source code is hosted on GitLab. See the developer guide page on Code Reviews for more info on how OGS uses GitLab for collaborative development.

Download and install git from the git homepage. Use the default installer options but also enable Enable symbolic links under the Configuring extra options page.

Enable symbolic links option
Enable symbolic links option

This install a new command line called Git Bash which should be used for all git operations.

Let Git know who you are:

In some corporate environments you may have to use a proxy server. In this case tell git about it:

Please check if Git is already installed:

Otherwise please install Git with your favorite package manager:

Let Git know who you are:

Optionally enable password storing when interacting with a remote server:

In some corporate environments you may have to use a proxy server. In this case tell git about it:

Install Git with Homebrew:

Let Git know who you are:

The graphical GitHub client is also maybe worth a look.

In some corporate environments you may have to use a proxy server. In this case tell git about it:

Step: Install Python 3

  • Download the Python 3 installer
  • Install with the following options
    • Check Add Python 3.X to PATH
    • Customize installation
    • Make sure to have pip enabled (you may uncheck Documentation, tcl/tk, Python test suite)
    • You may check Install for all users
    • Check Add Python to environment variables!

Install Python 3 and pip:

Install Python 3 with Homebrew:

Step: Install CMake

  • Download the installer, at the CMake download page choose the Windows (Win32 Installer).
  • Execute the installer, please check the Add CMake to the system path for all users-option

Install CMake via Kitware’s APT Repository by following their instructions.

For other linux distributions you want to use your distributions package manager, pip or snap.

Install CMake with Homebrew:

Step: Install Conan package manager

The Conan package manager helps to install all required libraries in a convenient way on every platform. If you prefer you can also install libraries manually instead.

Install Conan (>= 1.21.0) with Python’s pip:

This installed conan to .local/bin (or C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Python\Python37\Scripts on Windows) in your home directory. Make sure to have this directory in your PATH!

Check on a newly opened command line if Conan was installed successfully:


This article was written by Lars Bilke. If you are missing something or you find an error please let us know. Generated with Hugo 0.72.0. Last revision: June 24, 2020
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