Compiling and Installing

1. Prerequisites for building

1.1 General

Build system

  • Meson is required when building on *nix platforms and is supported on Windows.
  • SCons is an alternative for building on Windows and Linux.
  • Android Build system when building as native Android component. Meson is used when when building ARC.


The following compilers are known to work, if you know of others or you’re willing to maintain support for other compiler get in touch.

  • GCC 4.2.0 or later (some parts of Mesa may require later versions)
  • clang - exact minimum requirement is currently unknown.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 or later is required, for building on Windows.

Third party/extra tools.

  • Python - Python is required. When building with SCons 2.7 is required. When building with meson 3.5 or newer is required.

  • Python Mako module - Python Mako module is required. Version 0.8.0 or later should work.

  • lex / yacc - for building the Mesa IR and GLSL compiler.

    On Linux systems, Flex and Bison versions 2.5.35 and 2.4.1, respectively, (or later) should work. On Windows with MinGW, install Flex and Bison with:

    mingw-get install msys-flex msys-bison

    For MSVC on Windows, install Win flex-bison.


Some versions can be buggy (eg. Flex 2.6.2) so do try others if things fail.

1.2 Requirements

The requirements depends on the features selected at configure stage. Check/install the respective -devel package as prompted by the configure error message.

Here are some common ways to retrieve most/all of the dependencies based on the packaging tool used by your distro.

zypper source-install --build-deps-only Mesa # openSUSE/SLED/SLES
yum-builddep mesa # yum Fedora, OpenSuse(?)
dnf builddep mesa # dnf Fedora
apt-get build-dep mesa # Debian and derivatives
... # others

2. Building with meson

Meson >= 0.46.0 is required

Meson is the latest build system in mesa, it is currently able to build for *nix systems like Linux and BSD, macOS, Haiku, and Windows.

The general approach is:

meson builddir/
ninja -C builddir/
sudo ninja -C builddir/ install

On Windows you can also use the Visual Studio backend

meson builddir --backend=vs
cd builddir
msbuild mesa.sln /m

Please read the detailed meson instructions for more information

3. Building with SCons (Windows/Linux)

To build Mesa with SCons on Linux or Windows do


The build output will be placed in build/platform-machine-debug/…, where platform is for example Linux or Windows, machine is x86 or x86_64, optionally followed by -debug for debug builds.

To build Mesa with SCons for Windows on Linux using the MinGW crosscompiler toolchain do

scons platform=windows toolchain=crossmingw machine=x86 libgl-gdi

This will create:

  • build/windows-x86-debug/gallium/targets/libgl-gdi/opengl32.dll — Mesa + Gallium + softpipe (or llvmpipe), binary compatible with Windows’s opengl32.dll

Put them all in the same directory to test them. Additional information is available in README.WIN32.

4. Building with AOSP (Android)

Currently one can build Mesa for Android as part of the AOSP project, yet your experience might vary.

In order to achieve that one should update their local manifest to point to the upstream repo, set the appropriate BOARD_GPU_DRIVERS and build the libGLES_mesa library.

FINISHME: Improve on the instructions add references to Rob H repos/Jenkins, Android-x86 and/or other resources.

5. Library Information

When compilation has finished, look in the top-level lib/ (or lib64/) directory. You’ll see a set of library files similar to this:

lrwxrwxrwx    1 brian    users          10 Mar 26 07:53 ->*
lrwxrwxrwx    1 brian    users          19 Mar 26 07:53 ->*
-rwxr-xr-x    1 brian    users     3375861 Mar 26 07:53*
lrwxrwxrwx    1 brian    users          14 Mar 26 07:53 ->*
lrwxrwxrwx    1 brian    users          23 Mar 26 07:53 ->*
-rwxr-xr-x    1 brian    users       23871 Mar 26 07:53*

libGL is the main OpenGL library (i.e. Mesa), while libOSMesa is the OSMesa (Off-Screen) interface library.

If you built the DRI hardware drivers, you’ll also see the DRI drivers:

-rwxr-xr-x   1 brian users 16895413 Jul 21 12:11
-rwxr-xr-x   1 brian users 16895413 Jul 21 12:11
-rwxr-xr-x   1 brian users 11849858 Jul 21 12:12
-rwxr-xr-x   1 brian users 11757388 Jul 21 12:12

If you built with Gallium support, look in lib/gallium/ for Gallium-based versions of libGL and device drivers.

6. Building OpenGL programs with pkg-config

Running ninja install will install package configuration files for the pkg-config utility.

When compiling your OpenGL application you can use pkg-config to determine the proper compiler and linker flags.

For example, compiling and linking a GLUT application can be done with:

gcc `pkg-config --cflags --libs glut` mydemo.c -o mydemo