Generic build instructions are available in the INSTALL file. Please read these
notes below for Scribus-specific information plus notes about compiling Scribus on
particular distributions and operating systems.
Scribus 22.214.171.124+ and Scribus 1.3.4 plus have an optional build system which
replaces the traditionally used so called autotools. CMake (cmake.org) is
a modern, cross-platform replacement for autotools.
Please see install4.html or http://docs.scribus.net/index.php?lang=en&page=install4
and for Mac OS X http://docs.scribus.net/index.php?lang=en&page=install5
for details *after* reviewing the build requirements below.
REQUIREMENTS AND BUILDING - *BSD/Linux/*nix
You must install the libraries listed below BEFORE running configure or
Qt >= 3.3 (3.3.8+ recommended) and not Qt4.x Scribus 1.3.3.x will not
compile with Qt 4.x
Freetype >= 2.1.3 (2.3.x+ strongly recommended)
libart >= 2.3.10+ (2.3.17+ recommended)
libtiff >= 3.6.0
LittleCMS (liblcms) = 1.12 (1.17+ recommended)
libjpeg (depending on how Qt is packaged)
If you are installing from distro packages, the base package is NOT ENOUGH. You
MUST also install the -dev or -devel package, or Scribus can not use the
Fontconfig >= 2.0
LibXML2 >= 2.6.0
GhostScript >= 8.0 (8.60 or greater preferred)
Python >= 2.3
tkinter for the font sampler script
python-imaging for the font sampler preview
pkgconfig (to assist finding other libraries)
If any recommended libraries (and their dev/devel packages or headers) are not
installed, some features will be disabled by configure. If you later install
any of these dependencies, you will have to re-run configure and re-compile
Scribus before the features are enabled.
Scribus 1.3.3.x has a compile time option to use the cairo graphics library
in place of libart_lgpl as a renderer for the canvas. This is _stricly_ optional.
However there are are some minor display issues which cairo fixes, especially
gradients display on canvas. For performance reasons, we recommned using Cairo
1.4.10 or newer. To enable using the cairo renderer simply pass "--enable-cairo"
to ./configure or "-DWANT_CAIRO=1" to cmake command line.
LIBRARIES IN NON-STANDARD LOCATIONS
You can skip this section unless:
(a) You have libraries installed in unusual locations such as your home
directory or an add-in package collection (eg fink); or
(b) Scribus is not finding libraries that you KNOW you have installed
(remember the -dev/-devel package if applicable).
If any of your libraries are in non-standard locations and not on the same
--prefix as you're configuring Scribus with, you will need to set some extra
environment variables when configuring and compiling Scribus to ensure that
configure and gcc can find all the required information. Where
/home/fred/libfred is the path to the the directory the lib was installed to
(--prefix), eg /usr/local or /home/fred/libfred (*NOT* the lib/ subdirectory
the actual library file is in), the following commands to bash should do the
In most cases, you can get away with just some of them for any given lib, but
setting all of those means any of the several methods of finding libraries that
might be used should work. These requirements are standard for pretty much any
package, they are not specific to Scribus - it's just most packages don't
bother to explain this to you ;-)
If you have more than one collection of libraries, simply repeat the above
commands for each additional location.
In general, you should not add "-I/path" directives to `CXXFLAGS', `CPPFLAGS',
or `CFLAGS'; that's what `CPATH' is for. Similarly, use `LIBRARY_PATH' rather
than adding "-L/path" to `LDFLAGS' when trying to get `ld' to find a library.
`LD_LIBRARY_PATH' may also need to be set when running Scribus later. To avoid
this requirement under Linux, add the library path to `/etc/ld.so.conf' (on its
own line, nothing but the path, eg "/home/fred/libfred/lib" without the quotes)
and run ldconfig as root. Other operating systems have other requirements.
MacOS/X users may need to set `DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH' as well as `LD_LIBRARY_PATH'.
Note that Scribus's build scripts will always find a library installed to the
same --prefix as Scribus its self ; no special configuration should be required
in that case. Any failure to do so is a bug and should be reported on
REQUIREMENTS - DETAILS
We strongly recommend having Qt 3.3.8+. Qt 3.3 is now the *minimum*. Older
versions of Qt are *not* supported. If you build Qt from sources, the
recommended ./configure switches are the same as used by KDE. Use of other
switches aside from those used by distro packages can make trouble shooting
issues very difficult at times.
Scribus requires Freetype2. If you are compiling from source, you will need to
have the freetype headers installed - these can usually be found in a -devel
package for your distro.
It is strongly recommended that you install the CUPS development packages if
you are compiling Scribus. Without CUPS, Scribus will have significantly
reduced printing functionality.
Fontconfig, if installed, will let Scribus find fonts using the same method as
most other major desktop applications such as all KDE and GNOME applications.
If fontconfig support is installed, Scribus will not search your X font path, X
server configuration, or X font server configuration for fonts - it will only
use fonts found using fontconfig and any custom font locations configured in
Python will be used to add scripting support to Scribus. If Python is not
found, or there are no header files for Python installed (usually because you
haven't installed the development package), the scripting support will not be
See the distro-specific notes below for more information on installing and
using Scribus with your distro.
If you have a 64-bit version of Qt, sometimes ./configure will not detect the
64-bit version headers. Try : ./configure --enable-libsuffix=64 to test for 64-bit
versions of libraries.
If you're on an AMD64 Linux distro and configure can't find Python, try using the argument:
If Scribus can't find a library, there are several things you should do.
First of all, read `DISTRO SPECIFIC BUILD INFORMATION' below and see if
there's anything there for your OS / distro.
Next, ensure you definitely have the library installed, as well as any
additional development packages that may be required to use it. On Linux, make
sure to install the "-dev" or "-devel" package for the missing library. After
doing this, re-run configure.
If the library is still not found, please read and act on the section above,
entitled `LIBRARIES IN NONSTANDARD LOCATIONS'. Check that all those environment
variables are set to sensible values. If you are using any other custom CFLAGS,
LDFLAGS, CXXFLAGS, CPPFLAGS, etc, then unset or disable them unless you're really
sure you know what you're doing. This is doubly true for "optimisation" flags
like -mcpu and -march .
If you're still having problems, have a look at config.log (in the same
directory as configure) and see if you can tell what the problem is. You'll
probably want to use some sort of search command to look for the name of the
library that's not being found - config.log is *long*.
If you're still unable to determine what the problem is, please post a message
to the Scribus mailing list or report a bug on bugs.scribus.net. If you report
a bug, please attach a gzipped copy of config.log. If posting to the mailing
list, DO NOT attach config.log - but if possible, please post it on a website
or somewhere else we can get to it and provide the address. Otherwise, just
email it if someone asks for it. In any problem report, MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
- Operating system or distro, eg "Mac OS X" or "Debian Linux"
- OS or distro version, eg "Panther" or "Fedora Core 3". This is NOT the
Linux kernel version, though you can provide that too.
- Scribus version you're trying to compile, eg "1.2.1" or "1.3 cvs". If
you're building CVS, please make sure you've run "cvs up -Pd -C" (this
WILL erase any patches / custom changes you've made) then re-built
starting at "make -f Makefile.cvs" before reporting a problem. If
you're using a snapshot or CVS, please tell us when you downloaded
it (eg "todays CVS snapshot").
- What compiler you're using. You can get this from `gcc --version'.
if you're using gcc.
- If you're having problems with a particular library, what version
of the library you have installed and where you got it from. eg:
"freetype 2.0.1 from sunfreeware,"
"LittleCMS 1.1.4, compiled myself and installed in /usr/local,"
"freetype 2.1.3 from backports.org,"
"fontconfig 2.2.0 (stock Fedora Core 3 devel package)"
"I installed the qt-3.0.1.rpm and qt-devel-3.0.1.rpm from the CD."
- Check again to make REALLY REALLY SURE you have the devel package
- Any environment variables you may have set
- Anything else you can think of that might be useful. There's no
such thing as too much information, though please put big files
elsewhere rather than sending them to the mailing list.
It's best if you do a search of the mailing list archives and/or
bugs.scribus.net before reporting a problem, too. This is doubly true for
development versions of Scribus.
LINUX DISTRO SPECIFIC BUILD INFORMATION
This section contains information about compiling Scribus that's specific to
particular operating systems and Linux distros. More distro-specific
information can be found in the README.
Recommended packages for compiling from source on Sarge (Debian 3.1):
python2.3-dev or python2.4-dev
You are unlikely to be able to compile Scribus 1.3.x on Debian 3.0 (Woody)
without significant upgrades; it is not at all recommended. Scribus 1.3.x
should be considered not to support Debian Woody.
More info can be found in the README.
Red Hat / Fedora
Recommended packages for compiling from source on FC4+
You can install these packages with 'yum install packagename' as root. You may
need to run up2date first to set up your yum configuration (not required on
FC4). Be patient - the first time you run yum it may take a long time to
download the headers for all the security updates that have been released.
You may also need to 'export QTDIR=/usr/lib/qt-3.3' before running
configure or make.
More info can be found in the README.
Recommended packages for compiling from source on SuSE 9.x/10.x:
openssl-devel (required if CUPS support is needed)
You can install these packages using YaST. You may find it difficult to compile Scribus 1.3.x
on anything older than Suse 9.1. In addition, you are recommended to have the updated KDE/Qt
packages which are provided as supplemental from ftp.suse.com or mirrors.
We frequently provide rpms of svn snapshots in between releases for Mandriva 2007, Fedora's latest 2
releases and all supported Suse versions (10.0+) and SLES via the Open Suse Build Service. You can
access these packages using yum, smart or yast:
Mac OS X
Fink or a similar package collection will generally be required for compiling
Scribus. Scribus requires several libraries that do not come with Mac OS X,
and a few where the version in Mac OS X is too old.
Mac OS X users will want a copy of freetype that was configured with
--enable-old-macfonts . The Mac OS X bundled Freetype is too old, and the one
that comes with Fink is not (at time of writing) configured that way. You'll
need to compile your own copy of Freetype, then use --with-extra-includes and
--with-extra-libs or environment variables to tell configure where to find it.
See `LIBRARIES IN NON-STANDARD LOCATIONS' for additional instructions. /sw is
a "non standard location" that won't be searched by most of the tools configure
uses, so you must tell Scribus about it.
For the development branch of Scribus on OSC see :
No build instructions yet. Please see the README for info on Scribus under
Please feel free to submit a list of package names and versions required to
compile Scribus on your distro, or build instructions for your OS.