User:Jodiah Jensen

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HOW I COMPILED SL SOURCE w/ VC++ 2008 Express Edition

CAVEAT: although I was able to successfully build the source using these steps, it hangs after loading the settings

This is a synopsis of how *I* successfully compiled the source. It worked for me, but if you find you have a better method, this method doesn't work for you, or you spot a glaring error: please make your changes/suggestions in the form of comments, or on the discussion page, thank you. Please "sign" your comments.


Source version 1-21-r99587 (viewer version

Windows 32bit OS (I use WindowsXP 32bit)


  • Python (the cmake scripts specifically EXCLUDE the cygwin version of the Python interpreter, in the Python.cmake script, see step 3 below) IMPORTANT: DO NOT rely on the Cygwin version of Python.

Get DirectX SDK November 2007 from Microsoft -- Warning 400MB+

NOTE: Thanks Lear Cale (I missed this one), the DirectX SDK is required, however, This is a REALLY old version of the DirectX SDK. Since this is a page of how *I* compiled the source successfully, I should mention here that I use the August 2008 version of the DirectX SDK and it works fine.

You can get the August 2008 version at this link: DirectX SDK - (August 2008)

I assume the Nov 2007 link is for the OLDEST SDK you can get away with (in case you do not WANT to update to August 2008, or can't for some reason). It is important to mention that updating the SDK will also update your DirectX runtimes.




IMPORTANT: DO NOT use the Cygwin version of CMake, as it does not support VS and '' will fail (probably with the error "could not create named generator").

  • or The latest version download CMake (as of this writing, the latest version is 2.6.2).
NOTE: according to Performing a Build with Cmake(posted by Rob Linden) "There are many known issues with CMake 2.6.0 and 2.6.1 in conjunction with building the Second Life viewer. CMake 2.4.8 is supported, as well as 2.6.2 and beyond."

  • Install CMAKE
  • Make sure both CMake and Python are in the windows PATH environment variable


  • Fmod 3.75 (not 4.x), and its source files. (these will be copied to the correct locations in STEP 4 below. (see the Fmod sections of Linux, Mac, Windows) )
    (Fmod is the only bit of manual copying needed as of late July 2008; later, this could become automated.)

STEP 1 - Downloading the source code




NOTE: These are the source files *I* used, there may be newer source files available by the time you read this. This page applies specifically to this version of the source (viewer version ..._1-21-r99587

STEP 2 - Installing the source, libs, and Artwork

EXTRACT ALL THREE ZIP FILES TO SAME PATH (no spaces in the path name) ie "D:\SL_SRC\"

this will result in a single folder inside D:\SL_SRC\ called "linden" ("D:\SL_SRC\linden")

TODO: insert directory tree here

STEP 3 - Setting up your development directory tree using


  • run a command prompt in the "D:\SL_SRC\linden\indra" path
  • run the script using " -G VC90" (this is for VS C++ 2008)
  • This will configure a "non-standalone" source code tree, which means that the required third party library packages (as built by Linden Lab) will be downloaded during the CMake process.
  • TODO: building a standalone version of the source tree.

NOTE: to get the script to find the python interpreter when using Python 2.6, I needed to modify the D:\SL_SRC\linden\indra\cmake\Python.cmake file as follows:

   NAMES python25.exe python23.exe python.exe
   NO_DEFAULT_PATH # added so that cmake does not find cygwin python
   [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\SOFTWARE\\Python\\PythonCore\\2.6\\InstallPath]       #<-- add this line

NOTE: Thanks to Lear Cale for the above code. I originally tried this code, but for some reason when I installed Python 2.6, it failed to create the InstallPath key. So, I manually inserted the path to my python.exe in the Python.cmake file. This worked fine. However, after seeing Lear Cale's modification to my page, I decided to re-install Python and check again. It seems to work now, as the proper keys were created in the registry this time. IF you try this method and are still getting "CMake Error: No Python interpreter found" error, try uninstalling then re-installing Python 2.6.

If all else fails, here is the way I ORIGINALLY solved the problem:

  NAMES python25.exe python23.exe python.exe
  NO_DEFAULT_PATH # added so that cmake does not find cygwin python
  C:\\Python26\\        #this is the path to 'python.exe' on MY system,
                        #replace the drive letter and path with your own, make sure to use the \\ rather than \


Hi Jodiah, I did see that, and thanks! In fact, after reading your page, I saw your Python 2.6 tweak, and nudged the dev team to pick up the change, so that it should work in the future without needing that edit (it'll be in the next trunk rev, and will show up in roughly the 1.23 timeframe). -- Rob Linden 16:23, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

UPDATE NOTE: as of version 1-22-11, the above change has been made to the distributed 'python.cmake' file and no longer needs to be done manually.


   -- Version of viewer is
   -- Configuring done
   -- Generating done
   -- Build files have been written to: D:/SL_SRC/linden/indra/build-VC90
   Running 'tools\\vstool\\VSTool.exe --solution build-VC90\\SecondLife.sln --config RelWithDebInfo --startup secondlife-bin' in 'D:\\SL_SRC\\linden\\indra'
   Editing solution: build-VC90\SecondLife.sln
   Looking for existing VisualStudio instance...
     Didn't find open solution, starting new background VisualStudio instance...
     Reading .sln file version...
     Using version: VC90...
   Value cannot be null.
   Parameter name: type
   Quitting do to error opening: D:\SL_SRC\linden\indra\build-VC90\SecondLife.sln

NOTE: this appears to be a problem with using VStool with the express version of VC++, I had to manually set the Startup Project, Build Type, and Working directory (see step 5)

STEP 4 - Setting up FMOD

place FMOD files in proper places

  • Copy "fmodapi375win\api\inc\fmod.h" to "linden\libraries\include"
  • Copy "fmodapi375win\api\inc\fmod_errors.h" to "linden\libraries\include"
  • Copy "fmodapi375win\api\lib\fmodvc.lib" to "linden\libraries\i686-win32\lib\release" and to "linden\libraries\i686-win32\lib\debug"
  • Copy "fmodapi375win\api\fmod.dll" to "linden\indra\newview"

STEP 5 - Setting up Visual Studio and compiling the source code

OPEN D:\SL_SRC\linden\indra\build-VC90\secondlife.sln in VC++

  • set 'secondlife-bin' (in Solution Explorer) as Startup Project
  • set the working directory to 'D:\SL_SRC\linden\indra\newview' (select secondlife-bin and use Project > Properties > Configuration Properties > Debugging)
  • select build type 'RelWithDebInfo' (in the dropdown to the right of the green arrow on the toolbar)
  • click the green arrow (start debugging)

(thanks to Lear Cale for cleaning up this section and clarifying a few things)


Build was successful, but the executable doesn't run properly, it hangs , looping through code in the XTREE source file. I suspect this is due to problems with the BOOST libraries and using the 2008 version of VC++ (see Michelle Zenovka's page, Boost Hell).

  • The boost problem is being worked on. Look here for updates: VWR-9541






This is a synopsis of *MY* workaround for this problem. I admit it feels a bit kludgy, but, it worked for me. If you find you have a better method, this method doesn't work for you, or you spot a glaring error: please make your changes/suggestions in the form of comments, or on the discussion page, thank you. Please "sign" your comments.

As of version 1.21-r99587 of the SL Viewer source code, the included boost libraries are for boost v1.34.1 . This is the version I compiled for VS2008 (--toolset=msvc-9.0 for bjam)

There appear to be issues with getting the viewer to compile and run (using the distributed boost packages) with VS 2008. This problem is referred to as "Boost Hell" by Michelle2 Zenovka here: Boost Hell

  • The boost problem is being worked on, and should be resolved in 1-22. Look here for updates: VWR-9541


  • Although the steps will be similar for later versions of the boost libraries, I have only tested this procedure for version 1.34.1
  • Even though the VC90 versions of the .lib files are in the right places, and are being linked in, VS is still linking in the VC80 versions of the libraries as well. If I remove either set of .libs from the \linden\libraries\i686-win32\lib\debug or \linden\libraries\i686-win32\lib\release directories, the build will fail to run. I haven't quite worked this out yet. Possibly a CMake issue, I haven't worked much with CMake and I may be missing something.


  • You will need to run at least once before updating boost and installing the new libraries, as this will create the target directories for your new boost libs, and as of this writing, the vc80 versions of the libs are still required in addition to the vc90 .libs we will be building here.

STEP 1 - Downloading the boost source code

  • get the source code for your desired version of the boost libraries from here: Boost Downloads
NOTE:This document is written to cover the 1.34.1 version of the boost libraries

STEP 2 - Building the required boost libraries

NOTE: Most of the boost libraries are "header only" libraries, and only require placement of the appropriate header files in their proper places in your source tree. There are however 4 libraries that require building as .lib binary files for use with the SL source code: (see here for more info: Header-only Libraries)

  • libboost-program_options (Boost.ProgramOptions)
  • libboost-python (Boost.Python)
  • libboost-regex (Boost.Regex)
  • libboost-signals (Boost.Signals)

After downloading the boost source:

(the following text is taken from Compiling the viewer libraries(MSVS2003) - Boost and modified here as it applies to MSVC 2008 (aka VC90).)

NOTE: the Boost Wiki says to use the Visual Studio command prompt instead of the regular command prompt for the following steps:
  • cd to "boost_1_34_1\tools\jam\"
  • Run "boost_1_34_1\tools\jam\build_dist.bat".
  • Copy "boost_1_34_1\tools\jam\src\bin.ntx86\bjam.exe" to "boost_1_34_1\". [NOTE: found in stage directory, not src, in Boost 1.35.0 and later]
    • For Boost 1.39, bjam is placed at "...\boost_1_39_0\tools\jam\stage\boost-jam-3.1.17-1-ntx86" (thanks to Geneko Nemeth for this )
  • Using the command prompt, build the static libraries:
    • cd boost_1_34_1
    • set PYTHON_ROOT=C:\Python26
      • the path to your Python root may be different.
    • set PYTHON_VERSION=2.6
      • you may be using a different version of Python.
    • Run the command:
bjam --toolset=msvc-9.0 --with-python --with-program_options --with-regex --with-signals --build-type=complete link=static stage

for more info on building boost with bjam on windows: Invoke bjam

STEP 3 - Placing new libs where they belong

  • Copy the "\boost_1_34_1\boost" folder to "\linden\libraries\include\". (these are the header files for the boost libraries)
  • copy the following files from "boost_1_34_1\stage\lib\" to "\linden\libraries\i686-win32\lib\release\"
    • libboost_program_options-vc90-mt-s-1_34_1.lib
    • libboost_python-vc90-mt-s-1_34_1.lib
    • libboost_regex-vc90-mt-s-1_34_1.lib
    • libboost_signals-vc90-mt-s-1_34_1.lib
  • copy the following files from "boost_1_34_1\stage\lib\" to "\linden\libraries\i686-win32\lib\debug\"
    • libboost_program_options-vc90-mt-sgd-1_34_1.lib
    • libboost_python-vc90-mt-sgd-1_34_1.lib
    • libboost_regex-vc90-mt-sgd-1_34_1.lib
    • libboost_signals-vc90-mt-sgd-1_34_1.lib

STEP 4 - Add link dependencies to the Secondlife-bin project

  • In Solution explorer, highlight the secondlife-bin project and right-click
  • select 'Properties' at bottom of menu
  • In the left pane of the Property Pages dialog, go to Configuration Properties > Linker > Input
  • In the 'Additional Dependencies' field, find:
    • libboost_program_options-vc80-mt-s-1_34_1.lib
    • libboost_regex-vc80-mt-s-1_34_1.lib
    • libboost_signals-vc80-mt-s-1_34_1.lib
  • change vc80 to vc90 like so:
    • libboost_program_options-vc90-mt-s-1_34_1.lib
    • libboost_regex-vc90-mt-s-1_34_1.lib
    • libboost_signals-vc90-mt-s-1_34_1.lib
  • click OK to close the Property Pages dialog.


You should now be able to compile and run 1.21-r99587 source code using the steps found here: How I compiled SL SOURCE w/ VC++ 2008 Express Edition

NOTE: You may see a lot of "Unknown compiler version" warnings when building the solution, but it should compile and run just fine.