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 1.7.x)
  • CMake (build configuration tool, at least version 3.1)
  • A compiler with C++11-support
  • Conan package manager OR install required libraries manually (for advanced users only!)

Step: Install a compiler

As we use lots of features of the C++11-standard we support Visual Studio 2015 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 2017
    • 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)

If you have a recent linux distribution you should also have a recent gcc. Please check that you have at least gcc 6.2:

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 GitHub. See the developer guide page on Code Reviews for more info on how OGS uses GitHub 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 Git LFS

Git LFS (large file storage) is a git extension dealing with large binary files such as images and is used for the documentation. You don’t need to worry about anything but you need to install the extension as it is not a part of standard git.

  • If you have at least Git version 2.14 you can skip the following step:
  • In the command line run: git lfs install

Install with Homebrew:

Git LFS installation without admin rights

If you do not have rights to install a system package (e.g. on cluster systems) you can download a precompiled git-lfs executable. Simply put it into your PATH and everything should work (remember to run git lfs install once!). See also: https://github.com/git-lfs/git-lfs/wiki/Installation#other

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 with Pythons package manager pip (you may get a more recent version than using your systems package manager):

This installed cmake and ccmake to .local/bin in your home directory. Make sure to have this directory in your PATH!

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 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 0.54.0. Last revision: August 14, 2019
Commit: [web] Updated prereqs page. 5f6889865  | Edit this page on

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