Celestia/Development/Linux platform

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Getting source from SVN[edit]

Use your favorite Subversion client program to download Celestia from SourceForge. If you're using the command line svn client, use the following command line to update your local Celestia development directory:

svn co https://celestia.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/celestia/trunk dir_name

You may use "dir_name" for downloading directory name such as celestia. The default directory name is trunk if "dir_name" is omitted.

Basic installation steps[edit]

First, change directory with "cd dir_name/celestia" and type

autoreconf -iv

If this step does not succeed, make sure the following packages are installed (names shown for SuSE 10.2):

  • libtool
  • gconf2-devel
  • gettext-devel

For Ubuntu, the following basic build tools should be installed

  • build-essential
  • automake

In addition, dependent packages are also installed for Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get build-dep celestia

After the make ran through successfully, type


to get the list of available frontends and choose the one appropriate for you. Also, decide if you want to compile "--with-lua" and/or with "--enable-theora", Celestia itself runs fine without them, but some Addons use Lua.

NOTE: not all flavors of Linux use "sudo" ( it can be a VERY big security hole) So some do NOT even install it by default ( like RHEL6 and Fedora ) Use " su " and not the VERY DIFFERENT " su - " with the dash


./configure --help

to see a list other compile options you might want to enable/disable.

Now, configure the build tree with the following commands:

./configure --with-frontend <other options>

NOTE: the support for the OLD kde3 is no more so do not use '" -- with-kde '" that builds the kde 3 gui on your KDE4 desktop -- not good . Also the gtk GUI is being phased out in favor of the QT4 GUI

example : for Gnome

./configure --prefix=/usr/opt/GTK_Celestia --with-gnome -with-cspice-dir=/DATA/cspice -program-prefix=GTK

example : for QT4 - the now default GUI with cspice installed

./configure --prefix=/usr --with-lua --with-qt --with-cspice-dir=/opt/cspice

To finally build celestia and install it, type: for a I5 cpu using 3 cores "sudo" IF you DO have sudo permission to install software to /usr - not all system admins will give that to a normal user, it is a HUGE security risk

 make -j3
sudo make install


make -j3
--- your root password when asked --
make install

Packages needed[edit]

At the first installation, configure probably will complain about missing packages. Install and repeat.

For OpenSuse 10.2, at least the following packages have to be installed:

  • freeglut-devel
  • qt3-devel
  • kdebase3-devel

Directory Layout[edit]

The executable will be installed in


the data directory is located in


or whatever your --prefix-option of configure pointed to.


The basic information how to install Celestia under Linux was obtained from this thread in the celestia forums: https://celestiaproject.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11055