Building

The following instructions will help you build Looking Glass from source code. Before attempting this, you should have a basic understanding of how to use the shell.

Downloading

Visit the Looking Glass Download Page, and download the stable version (recommended). You can also download a bleeding-edge version, or the latest RC version during a Release Candidate cycle.

Developers can clone the source code repo with git.

git clone --recursive https://github.com/gnif/LookingGlass.git

Warning

Please only clone from Git if you’re a developer, and know what you’re doing. Looking Glass requires git submodules that must be setup and updated when building. Source code downloads from the website come bundled with the necessary submodules.

Note

When using the latest bleeding-edge client version, you MUST download and install the corresponding host application.

Client

Installing Build Dependencies

These required libraries and tools should be installed first.

Required Dependencies

  • cmake

  • gcc | clang

  • fonts-freefont-ttf

  • libegl-dev

  • libgl-dev

  • libfontconfig1-dev

  • libgmp-dev

  • libspice-protocol-dev

  • make

  • nettle-dev

  • pkg-config

May be disabled

These dependencies are required by default, but may be omitted if their feature is disabled when running cmake.

  • Disable with cmake -DENABLE_BACKTRACE=no ..

    • binutils-dev

  • Disable with cmake -DENABLE_X11=no ..

    • libx11-dev

    • libxfixes-dev

    • libxi-dev

    • libxinerama-dev

    • libxss-dev

    • libxcursor-dev

    • libxpresent-dev

  • Disable with cmake -DENABLE_WAYLAND=no ..

    • libwayland-bin

    • libwayland-dev

    • wayland-protocols

Fetching with APT

You can fetch these dependencies with the following command:

apt-get install binutils-dev cmake fonts-freefont-ttf libfontconfig1-dev libegl-dev libspice-protocol-dev nettle-dev libx11-dev libxi-dev libxinerama-dev libxss-dev libwayland-dev wayland-protocols

You may omit some dependencies, if you disable the feature which requires them when running cmake. (See May be disabled)

Building

If you’ve downloaded the source code as a zip file, simply unzip and cd into the new directory. If you’ve cloned the repo with git, then cd into the LookingGlass directory.

mkdir client/build
cd client/build
cmake ../
make

This will build the looking-glass-client binary, which is used to display frames from the guest.

Note

If you are using GNOME on Wayland, you likely want to pass -DENABLE_LIBDECOR=ON to cmake, i.e. run cmake -DENABLE_LIBDECOR=ON ../.

For details, see the FAQ.

Note

The most common compile error is related to backtrace support. This can be disabled by adding the following option to the cmake command: -DENABLE_BACKTRACE=0. However, if you disable this and need support for a crash, use gdb to obtain a backtrace manually.

Host

These instructions help you build the host yourself from the downloaded source code.

Warning

Building the host from source code is not recommended for most purposes, and should only be attempted by users who are prepared to handle issues on their own. Please download the pre-built binary installers from https://looking-glass.io/downloads for stability, and increased support.

Note

The pre-built binaries also include NvFBC support built in, which is only available to current Nvidia SDK license holders, and cannot be enabled when building the host without also having a license.

For Windows on Windows

  1. Download and install msys2 x86_64 from http://www.msys2.org/ following the setup instructions provided

  2. Run the MSYS2 shell

  3. Download build dependencies with pacman

pacman -Fy
pacman -Sy git make mingw-w64-x86_64-gcc mingw-w64-x86_64-cmake
  1. Change directory to the source tree with cd

  2. Configure the project and build it

mkdir host/build
cd host/build
cmake -G "MSYS Makefiles" ..
make

For Linux on Linux

Make a host/build directory, then run cmake

mkdir host/build
cd host/build
cmake ..
make

For Windows cross compiling on Linux

Like For Linux on Linux, but using the mingw64 toolchain to cross-compile a Windows .exe file.

mkdir host/build
cd host/build
cmake -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=../toolchain-mingw64.cmake ..
make

Building the Windows installer

  1. Build the host on Linux.

  2. Install nsis

apt-get install nsis
  1. Use makensis to build the installer.

cd host/build/platform/Windows
makensis installer.nsi

This will build looking-glass-host-setup.exe under host/build/platform/Windows/looking-glass-host-setup.exe